updated 11/17/2010 3:45:40 PM ET 2010-11-17T20:45:40

World's Largest Solar-Powered Boat Scheduled to Arrive* in Miami on Sunday, November 28, 2010**

*Due to variations in weather conditions, the boat may arrive a few hours late or even the next morning.

NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Having started its journey in Monaco in late September 2010, TURANOR [1] PlanetSolar, a marvel of sustainable energy technology, will be docking at the Miami Beach Marina, slip A19, on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at around 12:00 PM.

A technological feat of German-Swiss cooperation, the catamaran, measuring close to 102 feet in length and 50 feet in width, is on a pioneering circumnavigation around the globe entirely without the use of traditional fuels. It is powered exclusively by solar energy.

Craig Loomes of LOMOcean Design (Auckland, NZ) designed the TURANOR PlanetSolar according to the so-called "wave-piercing" concept, where the catamaran "slices" through the waves. This uses less energy than is required for conventional concepts, where the boat "rides" the waves.

Raphaël Domjan, a Swiss engineer and founder of the PlanetSolar project, entlisted German entrepreneur Immo Ströher, a passionate advocate and veteran in the sector of renewable forms of energy, to join forces with him in this project.

"This is a milestone in the progress of solar mobility," says Ströher, owner of TURANOR PlanetSolar. "It is my vision to see solar power take its rightful place - not only on rooftops, but also on the roads, seas and in the skies of the future."

The highly experienced crew of the Swiss-based project, 5 men and 1 woman, boosts expertise in navigating large yachts, managing solar energy, its storage and its consumption by electric motors. Those skills are essential assets to make Raphaël Domjan's idea of the first solar boat expedition around the world a success.

The surface of the TURANOR PlanetSolar, measuring more than 5,700 square feet, is designed to act as a solar generator. This ensures that the catamaran can keep going for long periods (up to three full days), even without direct insolation. The solar energy yielded by the generator is stored in a lithium-ion battery (this technology offers the maximum output and energy density).

"This voyage around the world is meant to test the long-term performance of the TURANOR PlanetSolar," said Raphaël Domjan, project founder. "When it comes to solar shipping, brilliant innovation is required: less weight, less friction, efficient propulsion, a reliable solar energy store and finally, the production of electric energy."

TURANOR PlanetSolar will be a flagship carrying the message about the efficient application of renewable energies around the world ( http://www.planetsolar.org ). In addition, the solar catamaran should realize a "worldwide economic return" through further development amongst boat builders and component manufacturers and generate new business opportunities in the renewable energies sector.

The vessel was built by Knierim, a Kiel-based (Germany) yacht builder, specializing in the construction of individual yachts using carbon sandwich technology at a cost of approximately € 12.5 million (approx. US$17.5 million).

After its stop in Miami, TURANOR PlanetSolar will navigate towards Cancún, Mexico, the site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Furthermore, TURANOR PlanetSolar will be a flagship carrying the message about the efficient application of renewable energies around the world.

After the scheduled circumnavigation, the TURANOR PlanetSolar should find further use commensurate with its intended role as ambassador for renewable forms of energy (e.g. through educational seminars and conferences, etc.).

Photos and video available on:

www.planetsolar.org/press

Log-in: press

Password: julvern06

More information on the PlanetSolar project on: www.planetsolar.org

**The following individuals will be available for interviews:

Immo Ströher, owner

Raphaël Domjan, founder of the PlanetSolar project

Patrick Marchesseau, captain

Interviews will be honoured on a first-come, first-serve-basis.

Press contact:        

Tarcísio Costa, 1-917-868-2067

tarcisio@topicpr.com

[1] The name TURANORis derived from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and translates into "The Power of the Sun."


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