Solar stories

July 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

Three solar stories today, though only one’s automotive. Still, this is interesting: a solar-powered plane has completed an overnight flight ( its batteries storing the power collected during the daytime by its photovoltaic panels) and charted the longest, highest flight by a solar aircraft. The Solar Impulse plane flew for 26 hours, reached an altitude of 8,700m, and landed in Switzerland with three hours-worth of power to spare. Pilot Bertrand Piccard (no relation to Jean-Luc) said that “perpetual flight” is within reach; the team now aims for a round-the-world voyage.

Meanwhile, Irish company SolarPrint is to work with Fiat on solar panels for car roofs; these will power ventilation, audio, entertainment and other electric functions in the car, though not provide motive power as yet. Full lowdown at Autoblog Green, which has also found video of a solar-powered 100-passenger ferry, making its first trip out of Hong Kong harbour.

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