DuPont Celebrates World’s Largest Solar Boat’s Successful Global Journey Powered by the Sun

DuPont News, May 8, 2012
PlanetSolar, the world's largest solar-powered boat.
PlanetSolar, the world's largest solar-powered boat, incorporates DuPont photovoltaic materials.

 

The world’s largest solar-powered boat has completed the first trans-world trip with DuPont photovoltaic materials helping make it possible.  DuPont is an official supplier to PlanetSolar, a 31-meter-long and 15-meter-wide catamaran covered by 537 square meters of photovoltaic solar panels that power an electric motor.

The solar boat recently docked in the Hercule Harbor in Monaco for a three-day celebration of the historic 585-day trip that began on Sept. 27, 2010.  The project demonstrated that renewable energy and technology can be applied to achieve sustainable transportation.

“The success of this undertaking proves a core belief within DuPont: science can be used to help solve the world’s most pressing challenges.  We have the tools and materials available to make our planet better and more sustainable,” said Simone Arizzi, Science & Technology director, DuPont, Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA).

The photovoltaic panels used to power the boat were exposed to a harsh marine environment, day-after-day for 19 months, and needed to be highly durable.  DuPont™ Tedlar® polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) film was used as an essential component of the photovoltaic backsheet and was key to protecting the PlanetSolar panels, ensuring reliable power generation during the trip.  Tedlar® is the only material with 25-plus years of proven field performance in photovoltaic modules under all weather conditions and is part of a broad and growing portfolio of high-performance photovoltaic solutions from DuPont.

“Our planet deserves a better, brighter and cleaner future,” said Raphaël Domjan, initiator and leader of the solar expedition who first conceived the idea for the boat in 2004.  “Solutions must be found.  I hope our success will motivate engineers and scientists to continue to develop innovative technologies and show that the impossible can become possible.”