Look, Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Superhero! No, It’s a Solar Powered Airplane!
Very few people ever considered the possibility of a plane being completely reliant on solar energy. Such a plane would remove the need for tons of oil, and it would heavily reduce the amount of air pollution caused by planes. Solar Impulse recently made a plane that only used solar panels. It doesn’t have any oil, and it flies surprisingly well. Two pilots recently tested the plane to see how reliable it was, and it was capable of making a trip that lasted 4,000 miles.
The first thing that most people think about with Solar Impulse’s plane is the battery. They wonder how efficient the solar cells are, and if they can really carry an airplane. The plane was capable of flying all day without any problem.
The team responsible for taking care of the plane would always check the battery when it landed, and it was full most of the time after an day-long trip. This means that the plane can easily travel during the day and night, but Solar Impulse decided against this because the test was only to see how reliable the plane would be over an extended flight. They also didn’t want the plane to experience any thermal problems during a night flight that could disrupt the technology.
At the same time, Solar Impulse knows that their plane can make a full night’s trip. They tested this in 2010 by flying a prototype for 26 hours without any problems.
The solar airplane has thousands of solar panels located throughout its body, but the majority of them can be found on the wings. These are highly efficient panels that are made to really trap and hold solar energy. This is what allows the batteries to be charged so quickly, and they provide more than enough energy for the plane to run for an extended amount of time.
Both the pilots and Solar Impulse state this flight is not to show that the plane can hold passengers, and it is not meant to show that a solar-powered plane is fast or slow. The primary purpose of this flight was to show people that green energy is capable of powering advanced technology, and it is to promote the necessity of removing fossil fuels from daily life.
This is Solar Impulse’s second plane, and they learned a lot from their prototype made in 2010. This plane, called the HB-SIB, was made to fit two pilots at once. There is enough room for both pilots to completely recline, and the plane was also made to better withstand a larger payload.
The circuitry was also moved and isolated so that the HB-SIB could fly in the rain without shorting out. Redundant systems were also built into the solar plane to ensure that the chances of a crash were greatly minimized.
Solar Impulse did this to show two things. It made the solar plane to show the world that innovation does not need to be limited because people must move beyond fossil fuels. This was also done to show the world that solar energy is reliable, and that it can be used on modern technology.
A solar plane seems almost ridiculous, but Solar Impulse has proven that a plane can be made that doesn’t need any fuel. If this innovation is possible, then what else can engineers do if they restrict themselves solely to solar energy? If this is any indication, then they can do a lot without needing to waste fossil fuels.
Article by Karl Stockton for the team at squaredeal.com. Contact them to view their Travelocity Promo Codes.
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