A solar powered boat, called the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, is a boat the runs completely on solar energy. It has sailed around the world using the power of the sun. The swiss team that built the boat designed it with the goal of demonstrating the potential of renewable energy.
The boat has since evolved from showcasing the power of photovoltaic solar energy as a source of transportation to also providing a mobile platform for communication, scientific studies, and education.
The boat is a catamaran. It has 512 square-meters of solar panels on its surface, with 8.5 tons of lithium-ion batteries which, when fully charged, provide enough energy for the boat for 72 hours of travel at night when solar energy is unavailable. It has two electric motors with a power capacity of 60 kilowatts each, and has a maximum speed of 26 km/h. It is 35 meters long and 23 meters wide. The average power consumption of the boat is 20 kilowatts (17 kW for the electric motors and 3 kW for use on board by the occupants). Other technical specs for the boat are given here.
The applicable standard from the NGSS is:
HS-ETS1-3 (high school). Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Discuss this solar powered boat with respect to the standard.
Why is a catamaran design used for the boat?