Non-stop worldwide PV-powered yacht race


From pv magazine France

The ninth edition of the Vendée Globe began on Nov. 8 from the French port of Sables-d'Olonne, for a complete world tour without stopovers or assistance. Italian PV panel maker Solbian equipped several competitors with its flexible products.

The competitors include Didac Costa, who is competing in his second Vendée Globe. He has 780 Wp of solar panels mounted on his One Planet One Ocean vessel. And Boris Herrmann of Germany has a 1,149 Wp solar PV system by Solbian on his boat. It features two different types of cells, for a total weight of just 24.5 kg.

“The Solbian solar panels have proven to be very effective in preparing for the Vendée Globe,” Herrmann said. “Together with the hydro generator, they keep the boat's batteries charged, avoiding carrying fuel to generate electricity – which will directly contribute to racing performance. From an ecological point of view, the system will also play a crucial role in meeting this challenge without resorting to fossil fuels.”

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Ari Huusela chose 390 Wp SP series panels for his Stark vessel, with rear contact cells capable of converting more than 24% of sunlight into electricity.

“In a competition like the Vendée Globe – a solo round the world race without stopovers or assistance – energy management is an important aspect, which is why we need solutions capable of withstanding the conditions. the most extreme, ” Huusela said. “The solar panels that I have installed have been designed and tested for the nautical industry, have a low weight and will be an essential source of clean energy to meet the consumption on board.”

Solbian  produces flexible solar panels at its factory in Avigliana, in the Italian province of Turin. Solbianflex panels are particularly suitable for sailboats, but they can also be used in e-mobility applications and motorhomes.

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