Posts Tagged ‘Morocco’

29 January

Solar Powered Plane, The Solar Impulse Reminds Us That The Ultimate Power Is The SUN

Share

Dear Friends, Viewers/Visitors/Readers,

(Please click on red links below for more information).

If you’ve been following Sun Is The Future since 2011, you may remember the two posts on Solar Impulse that I wrote about on July 14, 2011:  Solar Impulse HB-SIA-Solar Plane (1) and Solar Impulse-SIA-Solar Plane (2).  For those of you visiting Sun Is The Future for the first time, here are some information provided by wikipedia, below:

Solar Impulse is a Swiss long-range solar powered aircraft project being undertaken at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The project eventually hopes to achieve the first circumnavigation of the Earth by a piloted fixed-wing aircraft using only solar power. The project is led by Swiss psychiatrist and aeronaut Bertrand Piccard, who co-piloted the first balloon to circle the world non-stop, and Swiss businessman André Borschberg.  The first aircraft, bearing the Swiss aircraft registration code of HB-SIA, is a single-seater monoplane, capable of taking off under its own power, and intended to remain airborne up to 36 hours.

This aircraft first flew an entire diurnal solar cycle, including nearly nine hours of night flying, in a 26-hour flight on July 7-8, 2010. In 2012, Piccard and Borschberg conducted successful solar flights from Switzerland to Spain and Morocco. In 2013, plans call for a flight from California to Virginia.  Building on the experience of this prototype, a slightly larger follow-on design (HB-SIB) is planned to make a circumnavigation of the globe in 20–25 days. This flight was initially planned for 2014, but following a structural failure of the aircraft’s main spar during static testing, a more likely date is 2015.

Piccard initiated the Solar Impulse project in 2003. By 2009, he had assembled a multi-disciplinary team of 50 specialists from six countries, assisted by about 100 outside advisers. The project is financed by a number of private companies. The four main partners are Deutsche BankOmega SASolvay, and Schindler. Other partners include Bayer MaterialScience, Altran and Swisscom. Other supporters include ClarinsSemper, Toyota, BKW and STG. The EPFL, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Dassault have provided additional technical expertise, while SunPower provided the aircraft’s photovoltaic cells.

With a non-pressurized cockpit and a limited flight ceiling, the HB-SIA is primarily a demonstrator design. The plane has a similar wingspan to the Airbus A340 airliner. Under the wing are four nacelles, each with a set of lithium polymer batteries, a 10 hp (7.5 kW) motor and a twin-bladed propeller. To keep the wing as light as possible, a customised carbon fibre honeycomb sandwich structure is used. 11,628 photovoltaic cells on the upper wing surface and the horizontal stabilizer generate electricity during the day. These both propel the plane and charge its batteries to allow flight at night, theoretically enabling the single-seat plane to stay in the air indefinitely. The first manned flight overnight lasted about 26 hours in July of 2010.

The aircraft’s major design constraint is the capacity of the lithium polymer batteries. Over an ideal 24-hour cycle, the motors will deliver a combined average of about 8 hp (6 kW), roughly the power used by the Wright brothers‘ pioneering Flyer in 1903. As well as the charge stored in its batteries, the aircraft uses the potential energy of height gained during the day to power its night flights.

On  June 26, 2009, the Solar Impulse was first presented to the public in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Following taxi testing, a short-hop test flight was made on December 3, 2009, piloted by Markus Scherdel.

On  April 7,  2010, the HB-SIA conducted an extended 87-minute test flight, piloted by Markus Scherdel. This flight reached an altitude of 1,200 m (3,937 ft).

On May 28,  2012, the aircraft made its first flight powered entirely by solar energy, charging its batteries in flight. On July 8, 2010. the HB-SIA achieved the world’s first manned 26-hour solar powered flight.  The airplane was flown by Andre Borschberg, and took off at 6:51 a.m.Central European Summer Time (UTC+2) on July 7 from an airfield in Payerne, Switzerland.  It returned for a landing the following morning at 9:00 a.m. local time.  During the flight, the plane reached a maximum altitude of 8,700 m (28,500 ft).  At the time, the flight was the longest and highest ever flown by a manned solar-powered aircraft; these records were officially recognized by the Federation Aeronoautique Internationale (FAI) in October, 2010. On  May 13, 2011, at approximately 21:30 local time, HB-SIA landed at Brussels Airport,

 

 

 

 

Solar Impulse aircraft at Brussels Airport in May of 2011

 

 

 

 

after completing a 13-hour flight from its home base in Switzerland. It was the first international flight by the Solar Impulse, which flew at an average altitude of 6,000 ft (1,829 m) for a distance of 630 km (391 mi), with an average speed of 50 km/h (31 mph). The aircraft’s slow cruising speed required operating at a mid-altitude, allowing much faster air traffic to be routed around it. The aircraft was piloted by Andre Borschberg. The project’s other co-founder, Bertrand Piccard, said in an interview after the landing: “Our goal is to create a revolution in the minds of people…to promote solar energies — not necessarily a revolution in aviation. A second international flight to the Paris Air Show was attempted on  June 12, 2011, but the plane turned back half-way and landed back in Brussels, where it had taken off, due to adverse weather conditions. In a second attempt on  June 14, André Borschberg successfully landed the aircraft at Paris’ Le Bourget Airport at 9:15 pm after a 16-hour flight.

On  June 5, 2012, the Solar Impulse successfully completed its first intercontinental flight, flying a 19-hour trip from Madrid, Spain, to Rabat, Morocco. During the first leg of the flight from Payerne, Switzerland, to Madrid, the aircraft broke several further records for solar flight, including the longest solar-powered flight between pre-declared waypoints (1,099.3 km (683 mi)) and along a course (1,116 km (693 mi)).  Below is a video clip of CBS News 60 Minutes on Solar Impulse in December of 2012:

 

Construction of the second Solar Impulse aircraft, carrying the Swiss registration HB-SIB, started in 2011. It will feature a larger, pressurized cockpit and advanced avionics to allow for transcontinental and trans-oceanic flightsSupplemental oxygen and various other environmental support systems will allow the pilot to cruise at an altitude of 12,000 meters (39,000 ft). The wingspan of HB-SIB will be 80.0 m (262.5 ft), slightly wider than an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner,but unlike the 500-ton A380, the carbon-fibre Solar Impulse will weigh little more than an average automobile. Completion was planned for 2013, with a circumnavigation of the globe in 20–25 days in 2014. However, following a structural failure of the main spar during static tests, a more likely date for the circumnavigation is 2015. The flight would circle the world in the northern hemisphere, near the equator. Five stops are planned to allow changes of pilots. Each leg of the flight will last three to four days, limited by the physiology of each pilot. Once improved battery efficiency makes it possible to reduce the aircraft’s weight, a two-seater is envisaged to make a non-stop circumnavigation.

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net



HTML adl

Share
5 June

Solar Impulse Update ! World’s First Solar-Powered Intercontinental Flight Completed !

Share

Dear Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Dear Friends & Readers,

Please refer to our posts on Swiss Solar Impulse/Solar Plane

Solar Impulse HB-SIA (wikimedia)

 

on March 12, 2011; July 14 (1), 2011; and July 14 (2), 2011.

Solar Impulse HB-SIA fuselage & engine

Solar Impulse HB-SIA showing wing

I am pleased to announce an update for our visioinaries Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg: on the late night of June 5, 2012, Solar Impulse successfully completed the world’s first Solar- Powered Intercontinental flight!  Bertrand and Andre piloted their Solar Impulse airplane from MadridSpain (Barajas airport) to Rabat, Morocco , crossing the Gibraltar Strait and the Mediterranean.  “This flight marks a new stage in the history of the project because we have reached another continent.  Furthermore, after almost 20 hours of flight, we landed with a full set of batteries.  This is extraordinary as it represents an increase in confidence in new technologies.” said Andre Borschberg.  This Solar Impulse flight is under the High Patronage of King Mohammed VI.  Following the successful flight, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) is hosting the Solar Impulse team over a week to raise awareness of solar energy’s potential.    Mr. Mustafa Bakkoury, MASEN’s President, said “We are delighted to host this world premiere in Morocco and are very pleased with the presence of overall Solar Impulse’s impressive team.  We are also very thankful to each partner that could make this possible.”  At this point, I’d like to share the clip of World’s First Solar-Powered Intercontinental Flight, below:

The team will then head over to Ouarzazate City where the first solar complex is being developed.  Morocco’s ambitious and expensive plan to draw 40% of its energy needs from the blazing sun by 2020, (with a thermo-solar power plant of capacity of 160 megawatts and  five solar energy plants to produce 2000 megawatts of electricity), reducing CO2 emission of 3.7 million tons, received a publicity boost this week as Solar Impulse completes its first intercontinental flight and lands in the Moroccan Capital, Rabat.  “We came here out of admiration for Morocco’s pioneering solar energy program,” Bertrand Piccard said.  “It was perhaps the most beautiful flight of my life.  I have dreamed since I was a child of flying without using fuel,” said Piccard,  the man who who co-piloted the first hot airballoon to circle the world non-stop in 1999.

Morocco is one of the few countries in the region almost completely dependent on imports for its energy needs and it had been hard hit by the soaring oil prices these past few years.  “We have to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,  most of which we import,” Mustafa Bakkouri added.  The Ouarzazate plant is expected to be operational by 2014, with plans to boost its capacity to 500 megawatts by 2015.  The ultimate goal is to draw 40% of Morocco’s energy needs from the sun by 2020 and a string of solar energy plants across North Africa that would eventually supply all the energy needs there, as well as 15% of Europe’s.

The success of this flight is not to offer an alternative to commercial airliners but to push the limit of what is possible with solar technology, be it in the form of intercontinental flight or in the form of independence from fossil fuel.  We wish continued success to both Swiss Solar Impulse and Moroccan MASEN’s energy plan.  We will also look forward to the World Flight (around the world) scheduled for Solar Impulse in 2014.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

HTML adl

Google+

Share

Copyright © 2011-2018 · Susan Sun Nunamaker All Rights Reserved · Sunisthefuture.net