ABB and Solar Impulse: Round the world by solar aeroplane
Solar Impulse is the first aeroplane to be able to fly day and night without fuel and pollutant emissions.
This revolutionary fibre-glass aircraft has the wingspan of a Boeing 747 (63.4m) and the weight of a small motor car (1,600kg). At the end of February/beginning of March it is to take off from Abu Dhabi on a round-the-world flight – powered solely by solar energy.
One of the challenges before the mission ends again in Abu Dhabi in mid-2015 is likely to be a nonstop five-day flight from China to Hawaii. The aeroplane, powered by 17,248 solar cells, will fly higher than Mount Everest every day in order to fully charge its batteries to enable it to stay in the air at night as well.
In the year 2014 ABB and Solar Impulse formed an innovation and technology alliance, with three ABB engineers supporting the Solar Impulse Team. Their work was comprised of refining the steering and control systems, enhancing the charging electronics and battery systems as well as solving any problems which might crop up.