Posts Tagged ‘Swiss’

14 June

Trains, Powered By Sunshine, in Belgium and India

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

The Swiss Solar Impulse 2 (solar airplane) and French solar rooftops have inspired me to look toward other forms of transport and surface areas to be powered by or used to generate solar energy. It’s fantastic that there had been quite a few interesting progress made in the area of trains. Case in point, the high speed train powered by solar energy, in the video below, was in service back in 2011 in Belgium:

The rail line between Antwerp and Amsterdam (about 80 miles) in Belgium was the first solar paneled train tunnel (about 2.2 mile long tunnel) in Europe that utilized 16,000 solar panels (costed $22 million for installation) to power the railway infrastructure and trains back in June (started on June 14), of 2011, bringing clean energy to trains. This Solar Tunnel project is expected to generate 3.3 megawatts of energy (equivalent of the average annual electricity consumption for 4,000 trains or about 1,000 homes). The project partner Enfinity also indicated that the tunnel is decreasing CO2 emissions by 2,400 tons annually. “It is the perfect way to cut the carbon footprint because the spaces used have no other economic value,” commented by Bart Van Renterghem, Enfinity former UK head. Other collaborators on this project were Belgium rail operator Infrabel and solar construction company Solar Power Systems.  This was a fantastic clean energy project because it is optimizing the previously idled space and once the installation is in place, there is to be no consumption of fuel or coal and at no cost to our environment.

About 4461 miles (or 7179 km) away, India is planning to massively  utilize the solar energy via its state-owned railway systems. With one of the largest railway networks in the world, running about 12,000 trains, 23 million passengers (practically the entire Australian population), and 3 million tonnes of freight daily, much energy is needed.   In 2012, the Indian Railways consumed nearly 3 million kiloliters of diesel oil  and about 14 billion kWh of electricity .  So, India’s railway minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu wants to control such a ballooning fuel bill by shifting toward alternative energy sources. Since the Indian Railway System is aiming to have at least 10% of its total energy consumption coming from renewable energy by 2020, the railway minister wants to incorporate more alternative energy sources to power trains. This is first done by solar powered lighting via solar panels mounted on the roofs of the trains. This is now being tested on a non-AC coach on the RewariSitapur passenger train.

Indian Solar Train photographed by Anil Kumar Chhatri or credit citymetric.com

Indian Solar Train photographed by Anil Kumar Chhatri or credit citymetric.com

The cost of installing panels on each coach is about Rs3.9 lakh (about $6,084), translating into savings of Rs1.24 lakh (about $1,934) per year, According to The Economic Times of India Times.  In the next few weeks, the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and the railway coach maker Integral Coach Factory will  be testing the solar  paneled coach under a variety of conditions. Besides the solar powered coach, the Indian Railways will also be building  solar power plants of about 8.8 MW (megawatts) in 200 train stations and some of its office buildings.

Without the common vision and collaborations from policy makers, such ambitious projects would not have existed. In India, it took the echoing  support between India’s prime minister Narendra Modi and railway minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu to enable such a solar project to become a reality.  Prime Minister Modi encouraged alternative energy projects by encouraging solar companies from around the world to invest $100 billion to reach its solar power capacity target of 100,000 MW by 2022 (about five times India’s current solar power generation capacity). He was also instrumental behind another ambitious project, World’s First Canal Solar Power Plant in India, in Gujarat, in one of our previous post.

I hope all policy makers and governing bodies will receive the support he/she/they/it need(s) during this critical transitional period in human history, onward and forward toward the renewable/solar energy future! For deep down, within all of our hearts, we know that Solar/Renewable/Clean Energy is the solution/answer to Energy-Pollution-Economic Prosperity-International Conflicts. The sooner we get there, the better it will be for us and our posterity. In our system of democracy, perhaps all of us may be able to help play a part in assisting our policy makers in arriving at the correct decisions or policies quickly.

~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

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7 April

Solar Impulse 2 (HB-SIB), The Round-The-World Solar Airplane, Will Be Unveiled on Wed., April 9, 2014!!!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

Great News!  Solar Impulse Team just released the news that the global leader in renewables, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency, the  Switzerland-based ABB, will support Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg in their attempt to fly around the world in their Solar Impulse 2 (HB-SIB) in 2015!!!


The construction of Solar Impulse 2 or HB-SIB started in 2011, incorporated much lessons learned from the previous HB-SIA, but with more spacious cockpit (enabling the pilot to fully recline during flights of 4-6 day duration). It will have an increased payload, isolated electrical circuitry to enable flights in rain, and improved reliability through system redundancy.

The official unveiling of the Solar Impulse 2 (HB-SIB) will be on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, from 3:00-5:30 PM Swiss Time

Keep in mind that:  (3:00 PM Swiss/Zurich Time = 9:00 AM EST, Florida Time= 9:00 PM Beijing Time=11:00 PM Sydney Time=3:00 PM South Africa Time=9:00 AM Acre, Brazil Time=6:00 PM Kerguelen, French Southern & Antarctic Lands Time).

So, we can all follow live on www.solarimpulse.com the official presentation of the Round-The-World Solar Airplane, “Solar Impulse 2 (HB-SIB)”. Be sure to ADD  THIS  EVENT  TO  YOUR  GOOGLE  CALENDAR.

Below, are the aircraft data for Solar Impulse 2 (HB-SIB), from wikipedia:

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. It will feature a larger, pressurized cockpit and advanced avionics to allow for transcontinental and trans-oceanic flights. Supplemental oxygen and various other environmental support systems will allow the pilot to cruise at an altitude of 12,000 metres (39,000 ft). Completion was initially 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 in July 2012, a more likely date for the circumnavigation is 2017. 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.

In case you’ve missed some our previous posts on Solar Impulse 1 (HB-SIA), below:

1. Solar Plane-“All that is impossible remains to be achieved.” Jules Verne .

2. Solar Impulse HB-SIA-Solar Plane (1) .

3. Solar Impulse HB-SIA-Solar Plane (2) .

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

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

6. Our Future In: Solar Impulse HB-SIA Across America Mission .

7. Let’s Show Our Support For Solar Plane-Solar Impulse .

8. Solar Impulse Will Be Taking Off For Its Third Leg Soon .

9. Severe Midwest Weather Brought Out Revolutionary Inflatable Hanger For Solar Impulse .

10.Solar Impulse Has Successfully Arrived At historic St. Louis !

11.Get Ready To Hangout With The Solar Impulse Team !

12.Solar Impulse-Google Science Fair Hangout .

13.Solar Impulse Is More Than Just About Solar Plane .

14.Let’s Support Solar Impulse Team’s Endeavor !

15.Thank You, Solar Impulse !

For those of you who want more details about the trials and tribulations and the Unbeatable Spirit of Solar Impulse, be sure to also check out the SolarImpulseChannel at Youtube. and SolarImpulse at Google+.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be 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.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

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2 June

Severe Midwest Weather Brought Out Revolutionary Inflatable Hanger For Solar Impulse

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

A detailed press release just arrived today regarding Solar Impulse’s Across America Mission:

SEVERE WEATHER IN MIDWEST CHALLENGES SOLAR IMPULSE’S THIRD LEG ACROSS AMERICA

Solar Impulse to use for first time a revolutionary inflatable hangar after damage to St. Louis Hangar. Take a look at this Inflatable Hanger.


DALLAS (TX), June 2, 2013 – The strong storms that struck the St. Louis area Friday night have rendered inoperable Solar Impulse’s hangar at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The solar-powered airplane of Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg remains scheduled to fly from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Monday, June 3, to St. Louis. To protect the aircraft upon landing after midnight CDT (UTC-5) on Tuesday, June 4, Solar Impulse will deploy a revolutionary inflatable structure for the first time.

 

Multiple tornadoes touched down in the St. Louis region Friday night and caused damage to several Lambert-St. Louis International Airport’s buildings including the hangar reserved for Solar Impulse. Postponing the flight is not an option, as the particularly difficult weather conditions in the region leave only very few flight possibilities between Dallas-Fort Worth and St. Louis, and it might be the only one this week. If Solar Impulse doesn’t seize this opportunity, the chances of reaching final destination of the Across America Mission as scheduled could be compromised.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard will therefore take-off Monday morning for a 21 hours flight, — his longest flight in the single-seat cockpit to date. But because of the damage caused to the official hangar in St. Louis, Solar Impulse will attempt to use its own inflatable hangar to park the aircraft. Conceived and designed by the Solar Impulse team for the world tour of 2015, this revolutionary structure will be used for the very first time in real conditions. The team will only have a few hours to deploy this innovative structure before the airplane arrives.

Starting Saturday, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has mobilized its forces to help Solar Impulse reorganize and confront this extraordinary situation. The Logistics and Mission teams are working hand-in-hand around the clock to face the challenge of bringing the airplane safely to St. Louis and ensuring its protection upon arrival. The stopover in St. Louis during the crossing of the United States is very important and symbolic for Solar Impulse. St. Louis was chosen as the Midwest stopover to pay homage to the city’s aviation legacy, which includes aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh and his “Spirit of St. Louis,” the first airplane to fly from New York to Paris non-stop.

After St. Louis, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will continue to alternately pilot the solar airplane to reach Washington, D.C. and New York.

SOLAR IMPULSE DALLAS/FORT WORTH – LAMBERT-ST. LOUIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ROUTE
(please note timings might be subject to change):

04:00 a.m. CDT (11:00 a.m. Swiss Time): Estimated take-off from Dallas/Fort Worth (TX)
06:00 a.m. CDT (01:00 p.m. Swiss Time): Crossing the border into Oklahoma – Heading north towards Tulsa (OK): Cruising altitude 5’000 ft
07:00 a.m. CDT (02:00 p.m. Swiss Time): Passing nearby Ardmore (OK)
09:00 a.m. CDT (04:00 p.m. Swiss Time): Flying about 60 miles east of Oklahoma City: cruising altitude 6’000 ft
11:00 a.m. CDT (06:00 p.m. Swiss Time): Passing the Tulsa region – heading north towards Kansas: Cruising altitude 8’000 ft
01:00 p.m. CDT (08:00 p.m. Swiss Time): Flying nearby Independence (KS) – Turning East towards Missouri: Cruising altitude 10’000 ft
05:00 p.m. CDT (12:00 a.m. Swiss Time): Flying between the Lake of Ozarks State Park and the Fort Leonard Wood, direction St. Louis (MO): Cruising altitude 27’000 ft
01:00 a.m. CDT (08:00 a.m. Swiss Time): Estimated landing at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (MO)

The Solar Impulse Across America mission is made in partnership with SolvaySchindlerBayer Material ScienceSwiss Re Corporate SolutionsSunpower and the Swiss Confederation.

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR MEDIA
Although the flight has been confirmed, the flight director may still decide to postpone it or alter the route shortly before take-off. Keep up to date with the latest news at www.solarimpulse.com.

TRACK THE ACROSS AMERICA 2013 MISSION ON THE INTERNET VIA COMPUTER AND MOBILE DEVICE
During the Across America mission, each flight will be streamed live on www.solarimpulse.com as well as on Twitter andFacebook. The airplane’s position, altitude and speed will be shown in real time, while cockpit and mission control cameras allow viewers to experience the journey.

HI-DEF PICTURES, PRESS RELEASES, BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS AND VIDEO FOOTAGE CAN BE DOWNLOADED AT:
http://press.solarimpulse.com
User: solar-impulse
Password: zerofuelairplane-2012

THE “ACROSS AMERICA” MISSION AT A GLANCE:

  • Early May 2013: First leg San Francisco/Moffett Airfield – Phoenix/Sky Harbor
  • Mid May 2013: Second leg Phoenix/Sky Harbor – Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Early June 2013: Third leg Dallas/Fort Worth – St. Louis/Lambert Airport
  • Early to Mid-June 2013: Fourth leg St. Louis/Lambert Airport – Washington DC/Dulles
  • Early July 2013: Fifth and last leg Washington DC/Dulles – New York/JFK

PRESS CONTACTS:
Solar Impulse
Email: press@solarimpulse.com
Alexandra Gindroz | +41 58 219 24 40 | +1 408 609 0034
Alenka Zibetto | +41 58 219 25 37 | +41 79 415 82 84

ABOUT SOLAR IMPULSE
Swiss pioneers Dr Bertrand Piccard (Chairman) and André Borschberg (CEO) are the founders, pilots and the driving force behind Solar Impulse, the first airplane that can fly day and night without fuel. Solar Impulse is a unique adventure that aims to bring emotions back at the heart of scientific exploration, a flying laboratory to find innovative technological solutions for today’s challenges and a vision to inspire each of us to be pioneers in our everyday lives.

This revolutionary carbon fibre airplane has the wingspan of a Boeing 747 (63.4m / 208 ft) and the weight of a small car (1,600kg / 3,527 lb). It is the result of seven years of intense work, calculations, simulations and tests by a team of about 80 people and 100 partners and advisors. A plane so big and light has never been built before. The 12,000 solar cells built into the wing provide four 10HP electric motors with renewable energy. By day the solar cells recharge the 400kg / 881 lb lithium batteries which allow the plane to fly at night.
_________________________________________________________________________
Let’s hope for much better weather condition in the coming week.

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net



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20 May

Revisiting Solar Impulse HB-SIA & HB-SIB

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 163 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go! Thank you.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

got a message from Solar Impulse — the solar airplane that is flying across the United States right now. The plane is carrying a message encouraging governments, CEOs, and other decision-makers to support and deploy clean technologies.  Because I signed up, my name is going to be carried in the cockpit of the plane.  You should add your name too — the more names the plane carries, the stronger the clean technology message will be on the ground. So far, over 16,000 Friends are virtual passengers in the cockpit.  You can add your name by clicking here — it only takes 30 seconds. Thanks! sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker __________________________________________________________________________________________
Due to the ongoing Across America mission of Solar Impulse, I’d like to share one of our earlier posts from 2011 on:  Solar Plane, the Swiss Solar Impulse HB-SIA, below, undertaken at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.  This project was initiated in 2003 and then promoted by Bertrand Piccard (who co-piloted the first balloon to circle the world non-stop);it has grown to a multi-disciplinary team of 50 specialists from six countries and assisted by about 100 outside advisers.

What a terrific way to prove that we, the earthlings, are capable of freeing ourselves from the dependence on oil !  Through the clean tech of  solar energy, SOLARIMPULSE has brought us not only the physical possibility of  the first manned flight over night  (lasted about 26 hours) by solar powered plane in July 2010, but also the message to educators throughout planet earth the importance of  motivating children and students the pioneering spirit and developing new ways of thinking about future, energy, environment , and online education.

Solar Plane-Swiss Solar Impulse HB-SIA, a long-range solar powered plane

Please be sure to view these three FANTASTIC clips below (I could not help but share the feeling of exuberance and hope for mankind in viewing these clips….I was almost in tears….) :

    1. Solar Impulse-Best of 2010, below:

 

  1. Solar Impulse-Best of Night Flight at (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zir0f9b1zA )
  2. SOLARIMPULSE.TV at (http://solarimpulse.tv/sitv/index.php?lang=en )

The prototype HB-SIA has a non-pressurized cockpit, a similar wingspan to the Airbus A340, lithium polymer batteries under the wing, 12,000 photovoltaic cells on the upper wing surface and the horizontal stabilizer generate electricity during the day. These photovoltaic cells and horizontal stabilizer propel the plane and charge the batteries to allow night flight, theoretically enabling the single-seat plane to stay in the air indefinitely.  On July 8, 2010, HB-SIA achieved the world’s first manned 26-hour solar flight, flown by Andre Borschberg (started on July 7, 2010, from an airfield in Payenne, Switzerland).

To top HB-SIA, the HB-SIB is planned in the future, with a pressurized cockpit (with supplemental oxygen and various environmental support to the pilot to allow a cruise altitude of 12,000 m (39,000 ft) and advanced avionics to allow for transcontinental and trans-oceanic flights, with wingspan of 80.0 m (262.5 ft), slightly wider than the 79.75 m (261.6 ft) wingspan of an Airbus A380 ( the largest passenger airliner in the world). Solar Impulse HB-SIB requires the development of new materials and construction methods. Solvay has invented electrolytes that allow the energy density of the batteries to be increased;Bayer Material Sciences is utilizing its nanotechnologies for this project;and Decision is using lighter carbon fibers than seen in any previous projects. HB-SIB will undergo the same structural strength and vibration testing as for HB-SIA. Flight testing for HB-SIB is planned for Spring of 2014 and the round-the-world flight for between April and July of 2015;the flight would circle the world in the northern hemisphere near the equator and five stops are planned to change pilots.  Once improved battery efficiency allows the reduced  weight, a two-seater is envisaged to make a non-stop circumnavigation.

One cannot help but sense the inevitable success of  SOLAR ENERGY….upon the horizon…

Another lesson I have learned from this project…the importance of spirit of cooperation among all earthlings….it is time to shed the barriers of nationalism in order to reach the survival of humankind/earthlings….

* 1 inch = 1/12  ft = 2.54 centimeters (or cm)= 0.0254 meter (or m)

Your comments, questions, suggestions are always welcomed either publicly (via comments below) or privately (via sunisthefuture@gmail.com).

Written & Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,  sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net

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3 May

Our Future In:Solar Impulse HB-SIA Across America Mission

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

________________________________________________________________________________________

Our update on Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 161 signatures! Please join us by signing and sharing this petition with others

______________________________________________________________________________

This just came down the wire! About four hours ago, Solar Impulse (in our previous posts of Solar Impulse HB-SIA-Solar Plane (1) and HB-SIA Solar Plane (2))

Solar Impulse HB-SIA

took off on the first leg (between San Francisco and Phoenix) of an aerial odyssey across America without a drop of fuel! Solar Impulse, piloted by Bertrand Piccard this morning, took off from Moffett Field into the Bay Area’s skies at 9:12 A.M. ET and headed south toward Arizona. “A flying laboratory for clean technologies, this prototype is the result of seven years of intense work in the fields of materials science, energy management and man-machine interface,” Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulse’s co-founder and CEO, said before the flight. Borschberg and Piccard will be taking turns in the pilot’s seat for a month-long series of flights that will end up in New York around July 4th. Each leg of this odyssey will be streamed from this site and the project plans to collect thousands of names that will be added to a “Clean Generation” list of supporters carried in the cockpit.

All of Solar Impulse’s power comes from its 12,000 photovoltaic cells on the upper wing surface and store the electrical energy in its lithium polymer batteries under the wing when the sun isn’t shining. This carbon fiber aircraft has a long/wide wingspan and light design because the plane generates as much power as a motor scooter for its four 10-horsepower motors.

Just a quick refresher on Solar Impulse: Its pilot and co-founder Piccard is a record-setting, round-the-world balloonist who draws financial backing from Swiss business. In 2010 Solar Impulse took on the world’s first solar-powered 26-hour night flight in Switzerland. In 2011, it completed the first international solar flight from Switzerland, Belgium to France. In 2012, it completed the first solar-powered intercontinental flight from Europe to North Africa.

In the next few months Solar Impulse will be flying from Phoenix to Dallas-Fort Worth, then to St. Louis, Washington, and New York. For Borschberg and Piccard, this is simply a warm-up before their future ultimate goal and venture in circumnavigating the world with solar power. Allow me to share with you a short video clip: view of Solar Impulse’s HB-SIA and Piccard’s comments:

Allow me to leave you with what Solar Impulse represents, “We are a people-powered movement challenging conventional thinking to inspire innovation, hope and action among citizens and policymakers. Together, let’s promote this pioneering spirit!”

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any comments and/or suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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29 January

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

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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

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15 June

Turanor, PlanetSolar, The First Solar-Powered Boat Circumnavigated The Earth, 2010-2012

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Dear Readers,

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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.

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Dear Readers & Friends,

Often time it is as much for the interesting people that I meet as for the exotic scenery or places that I get to visit that holds the fascination for my journeys.  This time, it is during my visit in Costa Rica that I’ve encountered an interesting lady from San Francisco Bay area,  in her 80’s, with an amusing name Wacky Jacky, who is still the captain of her salmon fishing boat.  Jacky inspired me to research and write this particular piece/post on the solar-powered boat that had recently circumnavigated our planet earth.

Turanor PlaentSolar boat trip map 2010-2012

Solar Boat Turanor PlanetSolar (Wikimedia Commons)

The PlanetSolar solar boat, Turanor, sailed around the world in 584 days (covering over 32,000 nautical miles of travel), started from Monaco on Sep. 27, 2010 (headed West for  Atlantic Ocean, Panama Canal,  Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Suez Canal, before returning to Mediterranean), and ended on May 4, 2012.  The journey was initiated by Swiss engineer Raphael Domjan, developed by a team of physicists, engineers, boat builders, and environmental scientists, following the path as closely to the equator as possible to maximize the boat’s exposure to the sun. On this boat there are over 500 square meter of solar panels and the biggest lithium battery in the world at the time (meaning they could store over 1 megawatt-hour of energy), common room, kitchen, and bedrooms for the six crew members. At various stops along the journey, the crew stopped to promote sustainable/solar energy.    Now, let’s take a close look at this First Solar-Powered Boat That Had Circumnagivated The Earth, in this video clip.

Below, you’d find information contained in Wikipedia about the Turanor:

On 27 September 2010 Tûranor PlanetSolar started on a journey around the world in Monaco. With this expedition, the iniatiors of the project would like to focus the public awareness on the importance of renewable energies for environmental protection. The crew of six will circumnavigate the globe solely with the aid of solar power. Captain of the expedition is Frenchman Patrick Marchesseau. Other participants are Christian Ochsenbein (Bern, Switzerland) and Jens Langwasser (Kiel, Germany); as well as project initiator Raphael Domjan (Yverdon-les Bain, Switzerland). On the first leg across the Atlantic Ocean technician Daniel Stahl (Kiel, Germany) and first mate Mikaela von Koskull (Finland) were part of the crew. On 27 November 2010 the solar boat reached Miami. A significant stopover was Cancún, during the United Nations World Climate Conference.

At the centerline of the world tour, the French Canadian Captain Erwann Le Rouzic took over in New Caledonia mid May 2011, for the further circumnavigation sharing the master’s responsibility with Captain Patrick Marchesseau.

End of May 2011, the boat docked at Brisbane, where in an official ceremony the “PlanetSolar Relay for Hope” was launched, a global relay children and young people can take part in and present their visions and hopes for a solar energy driven world through essays, videos, music, drawing and models.

On the first solar boat expedition around the globe, the Tûranor PlanetSolar has reached two records: fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by solar boat and longest distance ever covered by a solar electric vehicle.

After 584 days, Tûranor PlanetSolar returned to Monaco on 4 May 2012 after sailing around the globe. Technical problems with the propeller system had forced the vessel to stay in an Asian port for two weeks of maintenance. The vessels is now scheduled for a refit so it can be chartered to tourists in the Mediterranean Sea. Cruises are planned with 12 passengers and 4 crew on board.

An earlier sustainable energy boat designed by LOMOcean Design, Earthrace, had attempted to set a round-the-world record powered by Bio Diesel.


So, dear Wacky Jacky, despite all concerns regarding energy crisis, the human spirit will prevail, in continuing women’s/men’s spirit of adventure or exploration. We will continue to push forward in unveiling a new era of renewable/solar energy.

~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

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5 June

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

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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.

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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

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12 March

Solar Plane-“All that is impossible remains to be achieved.” Jules Verne

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If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

What a terrific way to prove that we, the earthlings, are capable of freeing ourselves from the dependence on oil !  Through the clean tech of  solar energy, SOLARIMPULSE has brought us not only the physical possibility of  the first manned flight over night  (lasted about 26 hours) by solar powered plane in July 2010, but also the message to educators throughout planet earth the importance of  motivating children and students the pioneering spirit and developing new ways of thinking about future, energy, environment , and online education.

Due to the overwhelming response on last week’s post on solar car, it would be fitting to bring you the report on earthling’s progress in  Solar Plane, the Swiss Solar Impulse HB-SIA, below, undertaken at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.  This project was initiated in 2003 and then promoted by Bertrand Piccard (who co-piloted the first balloon to circle the world non-stop);it has grown to a multi-disciplinary team of 50 specialists from six countries and assisted by about 100 outside advisers.

Solar Plane-Swiss Solar Impulse HB-SIA, a long-range solar powered plane

Please be sure to view these three FANTASTIC clips below (I could not help but share the feeling of exuberance and hope for mankind in viewing these clips….I was almost in tears….) :

    1. Solar Impulse-Best of 2010 at (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDc863AAsw4 )

  1. Solar Impulse-Best of Night Flight at (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zir0f9b1zA )
  2. SOLARIMPULSE.TV at (http://solarimpulse.tv/sitv/index.php?lang=en )

The prototype HB-SIA has a non-pressurized cockpit, a similar wingspan to the Airbus A340, lithium polymer batteries under the wing, 12,000 photovoltaic cells on the upper wing surface and the horizontal stabilizer generate electricity during the day. These photovoltaic cells and horizontal stabilizer propel the plane and charge the batteries to allow night flight, theoretically enabling the single-seat plane to stay in the air indefinitely.  On July 8, 2010, HB-SIA achieved the world’s first manned 26-hour solar flight, flown by Andre Borschberg (started on July 7, 2010, from an airfield in Payenne, Switzerland).

To top HB-SIA, the HB-SIB is planned for completion in 2011, with a pressurized cockpit (with supplemental oxygen and various environmental support to the pilot to allow a cruise altitude of 12,000 m (39,000 ft) and advanced avionics to allow for transcontinental and trans-oceanic flights, with wingspan of 80.0 m (262.5 ft), slightly wider than the 79.75 m (261.6 ft) wingspan of an Airbus A380 ( the largest passenger airliner in the world).

A round-the-world flight is in the forecast for 2012;the flight would circle the world in the northern hemisphere near the equator and five stops are planned to change pilots.  Once improved battery efficiency allows the reduced  weight, a two-seater is envisaged to make a non-stop circumnavigation.

One cannot help but sense the inevitable success of  SOLAR ENERGY….upon the horizon…

Another lesson I have learned from this project…the importance of spirit of cooperation among all earthlings….it is time to shed the barriers of nationalism in order to reach the survival of humankind/earthlings….

* 1 inch = 1/12  ft = 2.54 centimeters (or cm)= 0.0254 meter (or m)

Your comments, questions, suggestions are always welcomed either publicly (via comments below) or privately (via sunisthefuture@gmail.com).

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,  sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
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

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