Solar Impulse

How the Solar Impulse is Taking it Further

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From Abu Dhabi to Abu Dhabi via Ahemdabad, Hawaii and New York- 40,000 kms in 500 hours, over 506 days with over 17,000 solar cells.

In July 2015, Sunkalp Energy had analyzed the technical specs of a very special plane. Now just over a year later, the Solar Impulse II has broken another record by flying around the World “without fuel”. Here’s our take on what the Solar Impulse’s achievement means for mankind.

The Solar Impulse's Flight Path
The Solar Impulse’s Flight Path

What the Solar Impulse’s Achievement Practically Means for Mankind

  • Until now, solar power was relegated to frivolous applications such garden lights. Individuals and organizations questioned and doubted whether “solar can really work” to power their homes and factories reliably.

    In a gigantic marketing campaign for renewable energy, the Solar Impulse proves that if solar power can fly you around the World, it can certainly power your fans, lights and air-conditioners.

  • One of the major concerns with solar photo-voltaic so far was the area occupied and weight of systems. With the Solar Impulse, Piccard & Borschberg have achieved a marvel of engineering. Solar panels line the wing span of the plane which not only takes off but can fly continuously for more than 118 hours. So the next time you wonder if solar panels take up too much area, think about this fact.

 

  • Running 633 kgs of Li Polymer batteries, the Solar Impulse is a big vote of confidence for Lithium ion batteries. Already proven by Tesla which can travel over 500 kms on a single charge, Lithium ion batteries will now attract the much needed investment and volumes for cost reduction and commercialization.

 

  • The solar impulse has kicked off what we predict will be a revolution in commercial flight.

Within a couple decades we can visualize short haul flights carrying up to 50 people in electric planes.

Boeing, Airbus, are you listening?

Kanika Khanna

Kanika is passionate about data and technology- and writes about how they apply to roof-top solar.

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