Solar Impulse completes its historic solar energy flight to Hawaii

The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft recently completed a historic, record-breaking flight in its quest to circle the globe without consuming a single drop of fuel, touching down gracefully in Hawaii. This marks the end of the 8th flight, a gruelling 7,200 km across the Pacific Ocean, completed in just under 5 days.


In an attempt to promote the powers of clean, renewable energy, the Solar Impulse initiative aims to demonstrate that solar power technology can achieve impossible goals. If an aeroplane can fly day and night without fuel, the same creative solar energy technologies can be used on the ground to save natural resources and improve the quality of life.


After more than a decade of research and technology, the single-seated monoplane, powered by photovoltaic cells, started its around-the-world journey by departing from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in March 2015. Since the start of the journey, the plane has completed a total of 19,957 km, flying for a total of 254h58m. Since its departure, the plane has travelled from the UAE to Oman, India, Burma, China, Japan and Hawaii, where it is currently grounded.


Although the plane suffered some setbacks during its flight to Hawaii, the many records that the journey broke speaks volumes for the potential of renewable energy. The distance covered, as well as the time spent in the air, are both records for manned, solar-powered flights.


The around-the-world journey has been delayed somewhat as a result of the batteries suffering damages from overheating. André Borschberg, one of the two pilots behind the Solar Impulse project, commented that they have faced many challenges along the way, which they have used to learn and improve their creative solar energy project in the long-term.


While each of the batteries are currently being replaced, Borschberg is confident that his co-pilot, Bertrand Piccard, will be back in the cosy cockpit soon. The Solar Impulse 2 is scheduled to depart from Hawaii in April 2016, heading for Phoenix, Arizona. From Phoenix, the solar energy plane will head for New York and a trans-Atlantic trip to Europe that would eventually see the plane return to the point of its initial departure in Abu Dhabi.


What does this mean for the future of solar?


The future of renewable energy is a bright one. The Solar Impulse team and Google are engaging in ongoing discussions that hope to lead to educational initiatives that inspire young creative solar energy innovators to change the world.


The next step for the Solar Impulse project is the development of an unmanned version of the plane that will be able to fly nonstop, at high altitudes, for long periods of time. Borschberg believes that this solar power technology could provide a sustainable alternative to satellites, perhaps even rendering them obsolete.


At Soventix we recognise the massive and necessary potential that renewable energy offers. We strive to make solar initiatives a reality around South Africa and the rest of the world. Through project development, financing and maintenance we stand united with Solar Impulse’s approach to this and every project:

“Very often we find big obstacles, but very often those big obstacles lead us to find a better way.”


If you are interested in solar power financing and installations for your home or business, be sure to complete our contact form and let us provide the best solutions for you.


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