Managing energy aboard largest solar-powered boat
Wago 758 Series IPCs are managing solar energy for Turanor PlanetSolar, the world’s largest solar-powered boat. Conceived by Raphael Domjan, a Swiss eco-adventurer and PlanetSolar founder, Turanor is a catamaran research vessel for solar power utilization. Turanor will embark on a solar-powered 2011 worldwide tour, with planned stops in San Francisco and New York City. According to PlanetSolar, the 2011 tour will be the first solar-powered circumnavigation by any means of transport.
Gleaming with 500+ sq. meters of photovoltaic panels and packing 11 tons of batteries (with chassis), including the 388 V lithium ion (NCA) battery, Turanor is a showcase for 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 supplied three 758 Series IPCs with control functionality and electrical components.
Wago IPCs control charging for three batteries and 10 Drivetek Maximum Power Pick Trackers (MPPT) via 13 CAN buscouplers. These high-end dc/dc converters improve the PV panels’ solar absorption — vital for the fixed, deck-mounted PV panels. This also helps ensure safety for the four-member crew as Turanor has no gasoline backups for steering/propulsion. Wago’s electrical components feature vibration- and thermal cycling-resistant, gas-tight connections for reliability in harsh marine environments.
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– Edited by Amanda McLeman, Control Engineering, CFE Media, www.controleng.com