Solar-powered boat travels Atlantic Coast on a mission (photos)

The world’s largest solar boat, a Swiss marvel named MS Turanor PlanetSolar, has made its way to the United States on a mission to collect climate data along the Gulf Stream.

The boat docked in Long Island Sound this week, on a journey up the Atlantic Coast, from Miami to St. John’s, Newfoundland. The expedition team, led by climatologist Martin Beniston of the University of Geneva, says PlanetSolar is ideal for the scientific effort, given that it releases no emissions to distort the data collected.

New York City: Solar-powered phone-charging stations make debut

PlanetSolar boasts 93.5 kilowatts of installed solar capacity, generated by 516 square meters (5,554 square feet) of photovoltaic solar panels. The boat, which can hold up to 60 people, traveled 2,867 miles across the Atlantic in 22-and-a-half days earlier this year.

Later this summer, the record-setting ship will make its way to Europe on a campaign against marine litter, outfitted with a trawling net that can collect up to 8 tons of ocean litter.

In May 2012, PlanetSolar made history as the first vessel to circumvent the world solely powered by the sun’s rays. Now on a similar endeavor, a solar-powered plane called SolarImpulse, another Swiss creation, has made its way to Washington D.C. in an effort to complete the first solar-powered cross-country flight, from San Francisco to New York City.

Also on FuelFix:

Solar-powered plane to make Texas stop during historic journey