This project began with two Swiss explorers and entrepreneurs, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg. They created a plane that can fly without a drop of fuel and are showcasing this feat to the world by doing a round-the-world flight.
The pilots are inspiring innovators who are incorporating renewable energies to a sector still rooted in fossil fuels. The organization is using the trip to promote clean energy to the United Nations upcoming climate conference.
The Solar Impulse 2 began its journey in Abu Dhabi on March 9th and made stopovers in Oman, India, Myanmar, China and Hawaii. The next leg of the journey will be piloted by Mr. Piccard who will fly from Kalaeloa, Hawaii to Phoenix, Arizona in early spring 2016. After Phoenix, the plane will fly over New York, cross the Atlantic and return to Abu Dhabi.
The plane itself can fly for five uninterrupted days and nights without using any fuel. This required some wildly innovative technologies. The plane is outfitted with the latest energy technology while simultaneously offering a rigorous decrease in energy consumption.
Solar Impulse 2 has approximately 17,000 photovoltaic cells, capable of powering the plane’s electric motors and charging its lithium-ion batteries. The batteries then sustain the plane during the night.
More Than a Stunt
Through this trip Piccard and Borshberg are promoting the futureisclean.org campaign, which advocates the use of green energy. They make several stopovers to publicize their clean technology message.
The plane itself isn’t expected to become the future of aviation, but rather a means to display the potential of solar power and inspire a new set of inventors and innovators to incorporate cleaner energy sources.
They are encouraging supporters of clean energy to sign their online clean technology petition to showcase global support. Clean technology can be incorporated into many different industry sectors, including the use of solar panels, wind turbines, LED lighting systems, the development and use of electric cars, and much more.