The Solar Impulse 2, the world’s first solar-powered plane, is about to take flight again. The goal is to continue its trek around the world using clean energy from solar.
The Impulse 2 broke world records last July for longest solo and solar flight. The Solar Impulse 2 first began its current journey March 9, 2015 in Abu Dhabi.
The plane flies in the mornings to altitudes as high as 28,000 feet, collecting energy from the sun and storing it in lithium batteries. During the night, the plane glides down to lower altitudes and taps into the batteries for power until the sun rises again. The plane is about as heavy as a Jeep and has wings the equivalent of an Airbus 380 that run off 17,000 solar cells. It travels at speeds from 50-100 kilometers per hour, topping out just short of a car’s freeway speeds.
The flight hit a huge milestone last summer, breaking world records when it flew 5,000 miles from Japan to Hawaii, where it has been housed while undergoing battery repairs.
Where the plane will land after it completes its four-day flight from Hawaii won’t be determined until a few days before takeoff, scheduled for mid- to late-April. Possible destinations, weather depending, include Phoenix, the Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area.
If solar can provide enough energy to fly a plane around the world, imagine what it could do for you home. If you are interested in a new solar system, make sure you contact us for a free site visit and solar need analysis, or simply give us a call with any questions you may have at 916.853.2700.