Fyodor Konyukhov to cross the Atlantic and Pacific aboard solar-powered catamaran
Traveller and explorer Fyodor Konyukhov intends to complete a crossing of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on his own aboard a catamaran powered by solar energy, he announced on his website. The designer of the 11.3-metre (a little under 40-foot) catamaran – equipped with solar models and electric panels – is Phil Morrison, who had previously designed Konyukhov’s rowboat.

The photo is sourced from konyukhov.ru

    Konyukhov’s expedition is to take place in two stages – in April, the traveller is to start his journey across the Atlantic aboard the Nova-class catamaran and in December he will embark on his crossing of the Pacific aboard the same boat.

    The expedition will serve as a preparatory stage for a round-the-word journey in the Jules Verne Cup which Konyukhov plans to complete in 80 days aboard a 100-foot catamaran without s-km) stopping in any ports. To complete the 27,000-mile (43,500-km) journey, the vessel will have to cover 340 miles (550 km) a day, maintaining a speed of 14 knots (25.9 kph). Construction of the catamaran is to get underway in Russia in 2022.

    The Nova, made out of carbon fibre, is to travel no faster than 7 knots, Solar modules occupying 66 sq. m. will be able to generate 32 killowatt hours of power to be stored in storage batteries weighing 528 kg. When fully charged, the vessel will have an operating range of 40 hours. With a tonnage of 2.2 tonnes, it will be able to withstand a force 8 storm.

    Shipping based on solar energy has undergone some development since the mid-1990s. The first rowboat able to cross the Channel was the 6-metre SB Collinda equipped with 20 solar panels with an overall capacity of 1.4 kilowatts. There are more than 20 soar-powered passenger vessels operating world-wide. Among the largest is the 18-metre catamaran EcoCAT operating out of the Spanish port of Santander and able to carry 120 passengers and crew.


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February 2022