Man Completes Solar-Powered Great Loop


A Florida man claims to have recently completed the Great Loop trek running solely on solar panels, batteries and an all-electric propulsion system provided by Torqeedo. Capt. Jim Greer of New Port Richey, Florida, completed the 7,200-mile trip on his 48-foot trimaran RA, named for the ancient Egyptian sun god.

“With solar panels, batteries and Torqeedo electric motors we were able to complete our travel days without any use of fossil fuels or plugging into marina electric hook-ups when docked,” says Greer in a press release. “We don’t have a backup generator or power cords in case of emergency, as that's the adventure in it.”

The trimaran was powered by a Torqeedo Cruise 10.0 kW motor and two smaller Cruise 4.0 kW outboards. The electric motors draw power from two banks of batteries: One with four 12V AGM batteries in a 48V configuration, and the other with eight of the same batteries also in a 48V configuration. The batteries are recharged from the array of 20 245-W solar panels on the roof of the cabin.

Greer says the solar-battery system worked well, allowing him to travel on his longest single run for 142 miles in 42 hours when he crossed the Gulf of Mexico. He says the system allowed him to save on fuel costs while eliminating emissions.

Greer traveled from Florida up the east coast, through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi and across the Gulf of Mexico.

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South Shore JUN17