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Spirethoughts

Spire's six most recent Spirethoughts.

Will cost-effective compost rejuvenate African agriculture
Will compost turn out to be the magic mineral for African agriculture?
Will emerging countries dominate the pool of global megacities in futu...
Thumbnail_Will the tech sector create new employment opportunities for persons with disabilities
Will the tech sector create new employment opportunities for persons w...
Thumbnail_Spirethoughts_Can permanent research bases for human beings be built on the moon
Will 3D printing enable the construction of permanent facilities on th...
Will Africa become the latest global aviation hot-spot
Will Africa become the latest global aviation hot-spot?
Will air taxis become the latest urban transport innovation_
Will air taxis become the latest urban transport innovation?

Take off with solar powered planes

Solar powered planes are now a reality. Initiated by Bertrand Piccard – a Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist – Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) is the first solar powered plane due for manufacture at a commercial level. It took 13 years to develop (on March 2015) by a team of approximately 140 people. Built at a cost of USD150 million, Si2 has a 72-meter wingspan and weighs just over two tons.

Energy flows a cross four electric motors with over 17,000 solar cells spread across its wings. That is how Si2 covered a distance of 8,500km – nonstop between China to Hawaii – proving the potential of solar flights. The flight took off from China on 31 May 2015, which took approximately 6 days and 5 nights.

Not only this, Si2 can fly day and night for weeks, and has unlimited endurance as its solar cells recharge 633 kilogram lithium batteries. Furthermore, if these planes were available on a larger scale, it may save up to 50% of the current global fossil energy consumption and brighten our hopes of limited energy consumption.

Will solar planes soon replace conventional fuel-driven aircrafts?


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Nidhi Singh
Assistant Manager, Group Corporate Communications
Spire Research and Consulting
Phone: (91) 124 646 5499
E-mail: nidhi.singh@spireresearch.com

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