Are solar-powered planes the future of aviation?

“In 2015, Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered single-seat aircraft with a wingspan wider than a Boeing 747, became the first solar aeroplane to complete an oceanic crossing, flying from Japan to Hawaii using nothing but solar power. This is the ultimate goal for solar-powered aircraft – achieving continuous flight.

It’s a simple concept: the wings are covered in solar cells – Solar Impulse 2 has 17,000 across its jumbo-jet sized wings – which harvest the sun’s energy. Some of this energy is used immediately to power the propulsion system and onboard instruments, the rest is harnessed in a rechargeable energy storage system – four lithium-polymer batteries in the case of Solar Impulse 2 – to power flight at night. This is enough to carry around two tonnes of weight – including a single passenger at a top speed of 43 miles per hour.

Furthermore, it releases no harmful exhaust gases, there is no contamination of the atmosphere and it is eco-friendly.”

Click here to read more from AZO Clean Tech.

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