The World’s Largest Solar Powered Boat Filters Sea Pollution

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Not only is this massive boat covered in a record-setting array of photovoltaic panels, it’s also equipped with a filter that removes pollution from the sea. The MS Turanor PlanetSolar is a catamaran running on nothing but solar power provided by the 516-square-meters of solar panels affixed to its roof.

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The expanse of solar panels makes the Turanor PlanetSolar look more like an aircraft than a boat, but those ‘wings’ are positionable so the panels can be angled toward the sun at all hours of the day, no matter which direction the boat is moving. A lightweight yet durable framework makes it aerodynamic and faster than you might expect from such a large, entirely solar-powered vehicle.

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In fact, the MS Turanor PlanetSolar will soon attempt to break its own speed record. Its top average speed is not exactly a jaw-dropper at just over 9 kilometers per hour (5.5mph). The solar panels provide a maximum power output of about 120kW.

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The ship is taking a trip around the world as part of a campaign to clean up European waters as part of a project by the Waste Free Oceans Foundation. A climatologist will analyze data and measurements taken along the gulf stream, and the trawling filter attached to the boat is capable of collecting up to 8 tons of marine pollution.