We’re rather skeptical about solar power. It’s costly in initial investments, and inconveniently tends to generate power during off-peak usage times. Further, current arrays are also rather short lived, and somewhat nasty in terms of disposal.
Solar Impulse is a manned, long endurance solar powered aircraft. Covered in solar panels, the plane uses these arrays to both provide motive power during the day, and charge onboard batteries to provide power overnight.
And it is currently being flown by Andre Borschberg from Nagoya, Japan to Hawaii. It’s just about 4,200 miles across the Pacific. With a planned flight time of about 120 hours, that’s an average speed of 35 miles an hour.
Today comes news that Solar Impulse has passed the midway point of its journey, known as the point of no return. That is, in an emergency, it is quicker to continue to Hawaii than to attempt to return to Japan.
We may not support the green energy agenda of the Solar Impulse team, but we certainly are impressed with their pioneering spirit, and their audacious attempt try new things, to reach new goals.