Tûranor PlanetSolar, the world's largest solar-powered boat, will embark on a 2011 worldwide tour, with stops planned in San Francisco and New York City. The boat is being developed by Switzerland-based PlanetSolar SA, an international team of physicists, engineers, boat builders, and environmental protection specialists. Conceived by Raphaël Domjan, a Swiss eco-adventurer and PlanetSolar founder, Tûranor is a catamaran research vessel for solar power utilization. According to PlanetSolar, the 2011 tour will be the first solar-powered circumnavigation by any means of transport. Derived from the J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings saga, the ship's name means “the power of the sun.”
With 500 m2 of photovoltaic panels and 11 tons of batteries (with chassis), including the 388-V lithium ion (NCA) battery, Tûranor will showcase solar power advancements and sustainable transport. To support the multi-hull ship's planned average speed of 7.5 knots over 31,069 miles and 140 days, WAGO Corp. of Germantown, Wis., supplied three 758 Series industrial PCs with control functionality and electrical components. The 758 Series will control charging for three batteries and 10 Drivetek Maximum Power Pick Trackers (MPPT) via 13 CAN buscouplers. For more information, visit planetsolar.org.