Vendée Globe 2020: more sustainable with solar power

Vendée Globe 2020: more sustainable with solar power


The ninth edition of the Vendée Globe starts on November 8th from the French port of Les Sables-d'Olonne. Founded in 1989, the yacht-race takes place every four years and is considered the Everest of the Seas, in fact, participants endure a solo, non-stop round the world without assistance.

Energy is an essential aspect onboard, thus boats must be equipped with autonomous systems as lightweight as possible to keep them efficient and competitive.

Boris Herrmann, one of the entrants in the 2020 Vendée Globe, has installed on his boat Seaexplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco a 1149 Wp photovoltaic system, built by Solbian and using two different cell types - SP cells in the center and SX cells on the side decks, altogether weighing only 24,5kg including pre-mounted adhesive. A boat that totally relies on renewable energy to support the fight against climate change and to raise awareness on ocean health.

“Our deck-integrated Solbian solar panels have proven to be very effective in the race preparation. Together with the hydro generator they keep the boat's batteries charged without the need to carry fuel for generation of electric energy – during the Vendée Globe this will be a direct contribution to the race performance. From an ecological standpoint, the system will play a crucial role in completing this challenge without the use of any fossil fuels." says Boris Herrmann.

Relying on a sustainable and safe source of energy is a necessity shared also by Didac Costa, Catalan at his second Vendée Globe.

780Wp of panels mounted on One Planet One Ocean, to provide enough power for the on-board equipment.

For the Spanish sailor, this competition is not just a personal challenge, but also an opportunity to inspire sea lovers to commit to sustainability and social inclusion: One Planet One Ocean is in fact the campaign carried out by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, focusing on environmental research.

“Having reliable solar panels in a round the world race is an extraordinary advantage. In terms of performance, it allows me to charge most essential equipment without having to carry the weight of extra fuel for the engine. And what's even better is that it is environmentally friendly. That's why I am so happy to be partnering with Solbian during this Vendée Globe” says Didac Costa.

The Finnish sailor Ari Huusela chose 390Wp of SP series solar panels, with back-contact monocrystalline silicon cells reaching a record 24% conversion of sunlight into electricity.

“In a race such as the Vendée Globe - single-handed, non-stop and unassisted around the world - energy management is an utterly important aspect, thus you need to equip your boat with solutions that can withstand the most extreme conditions.

The solar panels that I have installed on board have been designed and tested for the marine environment, are lightweight and will be an essential source of clean energy to address on-board consumption." says Ari Huusela.

Starting from Sunday, November 8 at 12.02pm Boris Herrmann, Didac Costa and Ari Huuseela will have to sail more than 20,000 miles to complete this challenge, their journey can be followed on the official website of the regatta.

Design: Tembo