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Thread: Solar Impulse

  1. #1
    International Regular Swingpanzee's Avatar
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    Solar Impulse

    This is something I've followed for a bit of time.

    Basically Solar Impulse is an aviation project in which Bertrand Piccard and Andre Boschberg are attempting to fly a solar-powered plane over the world (circumnavigate).

    Recently a few days ago the plane completed the supposedly most dangerous leg of the journey, from Japan to Hawaii. The entire leg lasted 116 continuous hours. (Solar Plane Completes Most Dangerous Leg of Epic Flight)

    Also a brief overview: Swiss Adventurer Launches Quest to 'Fly Forever'

    Thoughts? I think it's interesting and admirable.
    Ikki likes this.

  2. #2
    International Debutant Stapel's Avatar
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    The increase of efficiency of solar panels has been enormous over the last decade or so. I can't tell if this will continue. It probably will. The biggest challenge, however, is not turning solar (electro-magnetic-wave) energy into electric energy, but to consequently turn it into some sort of (chemical) energy that can be easily stored. Think of a small battery that powers an engine for days.....

    BTW: Solar impulse seems a wrong phrase. Impulse implies, more or less, the concept of Solar sailing.
    Madness. Exhilarating. Magical. Netherlands have crossed the line in an unbelievable 13.5 overs.
    It's like watching a Gayle from each end. And when one Gayle gets out.. Another Gayle comes in...

  3. #3
    International Coach flibbertyjibber's Avatar
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    Absolute waste of money, can't jump and cost me fortunes. Bloody useless horse.

    Oh you mean the other one.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Bahnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stapel View Post
    The increase of efficiency of solar panels has been enormous over the last decade or so. I can't tell if this will continue. It probably will. The biggest challenge, however, is not turning solar (electro-magnetic-wave) energy into electric energy, but to consequently turn it into some sort of (chemical) energy that can be easily stored. Think of a small battery that powers an engine for days.....

    BTW: Solar impulse seems a wrong phrase. Impulse implies, more or less, the concept of Solar sailing.
    Depends on what you mean by efficiency. As far as I was aware, there actually hasn't been a significant change in the ability of solar panels to convert light into electricity recently - at least for commercially available solar panels. There has been a big improvement in the efficiency of production of solar panels though, which has brought the price down (though it's not clear how much of this price drop is due to legitimate improvements in manufacturing technology, and how much of it is due to the dumping of panels by Chinese government subsidised firms).
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  5. #5
    State Vice-Captain Meridio's Avatar
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    Yeah, solar PV cells are extremely inefficient - from memory, the most efficient one ever produced has an efficiency of around 40%, while the average commercial panel probably gives about 20%. There's theoretical limitations on the efficiency of the panels due to the way they work.



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