By Cameron Chai
DuPont, a science and engineering company, has been an official supplier of photovoltaic materials to the world’s largest solar boat, which has successfully completed its first global journey.
PlanetSolar solar-powered boat
The 15 m wide and 31 m long boat, named PlanetSolar, used 537 sq.m of photovoltaic solar panels, which deliver power to an electric motor. The project demonstrates that the renewable energy technology can be used to achieve sustainable transportation.
The project included exposure of solar panels to a harsh aquatic environment for 19 months and the panels were evaluated for higher durability. A key component used in the photovoltaic backsheet is DuPont’s Tedlar polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) film. The film protected the panels in the PlanetSolar catamaran, thus assuring consistent power generation during the journey. The Tedlar PVF film has more than 25 years of proven record of field performance in solar modules under all weather conditions and it is a part of DuPont’s expanding portfolio of high-performance photovoltaic products. The Science & Technology Director at DuPont, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Simone Arizzi, remarked that they have the necessary materials and technologies to make the planet more sustainable. The initiator and leader of the PlanetSolar trip, Raphaël Domjan, stated that their success will encourage researchers and engineers to continue development of innovative technologies and work on impossible things to make them possible.