ABB Joins Solar Impulse For First-Ever Round-the-World Flight Powered By The Sun
Tomorrow, on April 9th 2014, from 3PM to 5:30PM Swiss Time, the official presentation of the Round-The-World Solar Airplane, “Solar Impulse 2” will be held. The presentation can be followed live on solarimpulse.com.
This unique machine next year will fly around the globe using just external power from the sun.
“After years of design, complex simulations and test ﬂights with the ﬁrst prototype, Solar Impulse 2 will be presented to our partners, friends and media before undertaking, in 2015, the ultimate technological and symbolic adventure of ﬂying around the world without fuel, only powered by the sun.”
One of the main partners announced in this project is now ABB, which is aiming to be a global leader in renewables, sustainable transportation and energy efficiency. ABB is now the world’s second-largest supplier of solar inverters and one of the largest suppliers to the wind-power industry. We also know from our EV industry that ABB is one of the largest supplier of DC fast chargers and recently announced it would be building the world’s largest network of new-generation, fast chargers for electric cars in China together with Daimler and BYD’s Denza JV.
Solar Impulse 2 itself weighs about 2,300 kg and has over 17,000 solar cells. To fly at night, the airplane will be using energy stored in a battery pack with energy density of 260 Wh/kg, but don’t ask us what 4×260 Wh/kg means.
ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer stated:
“This partnership brings together two Swiss-based global leaders that are passionate about pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation to achieve a better world. We believe in Bertrand’s vision, and we are convinced that by pioneering innovative technologies we will be able to decouple economic growth from energy consumption and environmental impact. Today, ABB is a global leader for solutions to enable energy efficiency, sustainable transportation and renewables and like Solar Impulse we are always challenging the boundaries of what is technologically possible.”
Bertrand Piccard, initiator and chairman of Solar Impulse remarked:
“It was my dream to have ABB as technology partner of Solar Impulse. We have the same goal of improving the world by using energy more efficiently and conserving natural resources.”
Andre Borschberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Solar Impulse adds:
“Solar Impulse and ABB are technology innovators and pioneers. We both want to motivate people to use clean technologies; ABB and Solar Impulse will work together on key technologies like power electronics for our mutual benefit.”