I could be accused of waxing lyrically about the old tall ships that visit West India Dock, however todays visitor the Turanor Planet Solar shows I can get equally excited about modern ships.
Looking like it has come from a science fiction stage set, the Turanor Planet Solar is probably one of the most remarkable ships to visit the Docks.
The Planet Solar was launched in Kiel in 2010 is registered in Switzerland and it cost around 12 million Euros to build and was financed by a German entrepreneur. The name Tûranor, derived from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Lord of the Rings, translates to “The Power of the Sun”.
Designed by New Zealander Craig Loomes , it is a catamaran which has a light carbon structure and powered by 6 blocks of Lithium- ion Batteries. It has 516 square metres of Solar panels.
There is no doubt it is the biggest solar run ship in the world and it showed its capabilities in 2010 by being the first ship to travel around the world powered exclusively by solar energy. More recently it has created a new record for travelling across the Atlantic whilst carrying out scientific expeditions.
The ship is in the dock till Monday when it will be going across the channel to Paris.