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Adventurer takes on the first solar expedition through the legendary Northwest Passage

Northwest Passage
Raphaël Domjan

Raphaël Domjan

This summer, eco-adventurer Raphaël Domjan, will travel the Northwest Passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic with an electric kayak – propelled by an Ultralight 403 from Torqeedo, the market leader in the marine electric propulsion industry.

In May 2012, Domjan hit the international headlines when he circumnavigated the earth for the first time in a solar-propelled catamaran, “Planet Solar.” The Swiss engineer’s latest goal is to master the Northwest Passage. Domjan, who will be accompanied by the kayak-adventurer Anne Quéméré, faces a journey of more than 3,000 km. It will be the first solar expedition through the legendary Northwest Passage. The 43-year-old’s expedition, “SolarArcticPassage”, will take the route discovered by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen in 1895.

In the Arctic, sunlight is less intense than at any other place on earth and Domjan will conduct the expedition to demonstrate that solar-electric-powered mobility is possible anywhere on earth. Despite the difficulties, the Arctic offers one important advantage – during the summer the Arctic Circle remains light for over 20 hours a day. The solar energy gained from the small surface of the kayak nevertheless remains extremely precious.

Domjan will use the lightweight and highly efficient Ultralight 403 drive system from Torqeedo. Weighing just 7kg including battery, the Ultralight is the world’s lightest outboard in serial production. In addition, it converts limited energy supply into propulsive power extremely efficiently.

The “SolarArcticPassage” expedition gets underway in June 2015. Domjan intends to cover up to 100km a day with his electric-powered kayak. The photovoltaic modules mounted on the kayak will feed the Ultralight’s lithium batteries which will, in turn, supply the motor with its energy.

For further information about Torqeedo’s products, please visit

Ultralight 403

About thepaddlerezine (654 Articles)
Editor of The Paddler magazine and Publisher of Stand Up Paddle Mag UK.

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