Solar boat reaches Paris after crossing Atlantic

GREG KELLER, Associated Press
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PARIS (AP) — The world’s largest solar-powered boat has docked on the banks of the Seine River, its final port of call after a three-month voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to study how the Gulf Stream and climate change could influence each other.

French skipper Gerard d'Aboville and captain of The Turanor PlanetSolar, poses on the world's largest solar boat, in Paris, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. The PlanetSolar with its 537 square meters of photovoltaic panels powering 6 blocks of lithium-ion batteries, accomplished the first around the world trip powered only by solar energy in May 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

French skipper Gerard d’Aboville and captain of The Turanor PlanetSolar, poses on the world’s largest solar boat, in Paris, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. The PlanetSolar with its 537 square meters of photovoltaic panels powering 6 blocks of lithium-ion batteries, accomplished the first around the world trip powered only by solar energy in May 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The 102-foot-long (31-meter-long) Turanor PlanetSolar catamaran looks like one of Darth Vader’s TIE Fighters turned on its side.

Starting from Miami in June, University of Geneva scientists sailed up the eastern seaboard, then across the Atlantic, taking water and air measurements that should allow them to better understand the complex interaction between ocean and atmosphere.

Martin Beniston is the expedition’s chief climatologist and head of the University of Geneva’s Institute for Environmental Sciences.

The $20 million PlanetSolar’s deck is covered with photovoltaic panels that charge a gigantic lithium ion battery.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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