Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Solar Airplane!!

Look at these beautiful pictures.  This is a plane but not normal plane.

This is a solar airplane called “Solar Impulse 2.”

Solar Impulse 2 completed the Pacific Ocean crossing of its round-the-world flight.

This project tries around the world by using only solar power.  Bertrand Piccard, who is the founder and chairman of the Solar Impulse organization, controlled the airplane and it took off from Kalaeloa, Hawaii on April 21 and touched down at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California on April 23.

The flight time was 62 hours and 29 minutes. The total flight distance was 4523 km and the battery that charged solar power in the daytime was used for night flight.


The reason of this project

The aircraft uses kerosene as a fuel and it is made by petroleum.  As we know there is a limit of petroleum and it emits CO2 and causes some environmental problems such as climate change.

Therefore, aim of this project is “Don’t use fossil fuel” and “No environmental pollution” and it means using sustainable energy and finding out the benefit of the solar plane.

In addition, “It is more than an airplane: it is a concentration of clean technologies, a genuine flying laboratory, and illustrates that solutions exist today to meet the major challenges facing our society,”  says Piccard.



Various techniques are used to make this airplane.  For example,

  • 180 micrometer thick of monocrystal-silicone is used to make solar panel cells because it is light and efficient to charge solar power.
  • Carbon fiber and honeycomb structure are used to create airplane’s body.


solar airplane 4


What energy is used for solar plane?

Main energy is solar power from the Sun and also other energy is used to keep flying.

  • Electric energy from the solar cell and the engine
  • Chemical energy of the cell
  • Kinetic energy in association with the acceleration of the body,etc…


Future issue

There are some issues to make the solar plane because there is no energy resource at night.  The merit of solar power is environmental-friendly because of sunlight and does not emit CO2. But we cannot use solar energy at night (because the Sun sets!), so we have to charge the energy if we want to use it during the night!

But the weight of battery is over 1/4 of the weight of Solar Impulse 2 to fly during the night.  Therefore, the next issue might be how to make the light battery.

In addition, Solar Impulse 2 is for only one person.  Probably, it takes time to create same capacity as current airplane…


Next travel of Solar Impulse 2

Solar Impulse 2 started its journey from Abu Dhabi in March, 2015 and it reached Phoenix, Arizona on May 2, 2016.

The next destination is New York and then it tries flying to final goal at Abu Dhabi.


This project has lots of dreams of many people and human gets new step of future technology that not only for airplane but also that technique will be used for improving of our life when it complete the journey.

We might use solar plane for travelling around the world 20 years later..





Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on May 8, 2016 by in Burwood - Wednesday 12pm, Uncategorized.

Deakin Authors

%d bloggers like this: