Wind

Solar Impulse 2, the New Model That Will Keep Beating Records

You probably have heard about Solar Impulse, an airplane that has crossed the Atlantic Ocean and the United States from coast to coast by using only solar energy to fuel itself. Now, the team of Swiss engineers responsible by that project has revealed a new and improved version of this plane, Solar Impulse 2, that can make history by becoming the first solar plane to travel around the world.

According to pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, also responsible for the project, due to the fact that Solar Impulse 2 does not use any conventional fuel to power itself, it can fly for an undetermined time. During the presentation of the new model, they mentioned several improvements that make Solar Impulse 2 more efficient and more autonomous.

The improvement with the bigger impact is the number of solar cells, which has increased by 6,000 in this model, from 12,000 to 18,000, over the plane's roof and wings. They feed four electric engines, each with 17,5 horse power, that allow for Solar Impulse 2 to reach a minimum speed of 35 km/h. Also, the plane's width has grown, from 63.4 to 72 meters, and the fuselage, built with carbon fiber, is lighter - the plane weighs about 2.5 tons.

The journey around the world is set to begin in March 2015 and take around five months, starting in the Persian Gulf and passing through India and the Pacific Ocean. During the trip, the two pilots will relay themselves inside the 3.8 square meters cabin, which has just enough space to store food, water, parachutes and other minor equipments.

This new model is an improvement of Solar Impulse, the plane that, back in 2012, has broken 12 world records, including being the first solar plane to travel across two continents during the night.

Even though this kind of technologies is still under development, such projects are important to determine the feasibility of solar energy to power airplanes, which can become a reality in a few decades.

Diogo Costa

About Diogo Costa

Biologist, writer, tech guy, musician and photographer. Only the first is for real, though.

Diogo Costa

Top Posts | Green Design

Amsterdam Solar Roadway Performs Beyond Expectations

Everywhere we look today, there is something being developed to help the world be more sustainable. Sustainable technologies have been taken to the next level with so many things going electric or becoming more energy-efficient in order to meet the world’s energy requirements without putting ... ...

Design Considerations for an Eco-Build

Eco-homes and sustainable living are the way to go.  Fossil fuels are becoming increasingly scarce and more expensive so it’s not surprising that many people are keen to buy a land and build their own eco-home.  Here are some things to think about before you start your eco-home proj ... ...

Design Tips For A Greener Home

Here are a few ideas to help keep things eco-friendly when designing your new green home.  You could also save some money too!FireplacesAn open fire in a traditional fireplace is not very efficient especially when the hearth is cold.  Much of the heat generated can be lost up the flue unl ... ...

The World’s First Smart Solar Roof Tile

Smart solar tiles are made of quality plexiglass and carbon materials and can be managed from an app on your mobile phone. This new smart tile is an invention, designed by a group of students from Bosnia, will allow transfer solar energy into electrical energy like regularly solar panels but come w ...

4 Energy Efficient Window Styles to Cut Your Utility Bill

Windows come in a variety of different types of frames to offer the maximum amount of energy efficiency. By combining a specific application with an energy efficient frame tailored to meet the demands of your climate, you can literally customize every window in your home.Window Frame TypesEnhancing ...

New Robotic 3D Printer Prints Greener Concrete

One day, the construction industry could turn to printing all our new homes using 3D technology as it offers lower production costs, less pollution, and more design freedom. One of the major reasons we haven’t seen this yet is because the applied side of this equation is lacking the necessary ... ...

Can I Use My Computer To Help With The Gardening?

Getting the gardening done can often be a little bit more difficult than you might have imagined. Luckily, there are a large number of tools at your disposal in order to make sure that everything is handled correctly. In this modern age, those in need of the best gardening experts in the business c ...

A Bright Inspiration to Sustainable Living

The need for sustainable living is something that we feel strongly today. The change that is going on around us is quite alarming. We see forests bereft of trees which cause flash floods and soil erosion. We see rivers drying up and experience freak storms more often than usual. The world today isn ...

Several Serious Benefits of Bamboo Flooring

When it comes to perfect flooring option for your home, the number of choices has significantly increased over the last few years. Some alternative flooring options are gaining popularity due to its value and durability. “Regular” hardwood becomes either boring or just too expensive flo ... ...