Solar Impulse stranded in Hawaii for time being

Interesting Engineering
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The Solar Impulse has been flying around the globe using just the sun for power and one pilot. It started off in March in Abu Dhabi but for the time being it is stranded in Hawaii and will remain there until August. Andre Borschberg, the co-founder of the Impulse piloted the solar powered aircraft from Nagoya, Japan to Oahu in Hawaii with very little sleep and it seems that the batteries of the craft haven’t managed so well without being given rest.


[Image Source: Solar Impulse]

The plane was checked when it landed at Hawaii and the team reported damage that is irreversible to some of the batteries parts. These are going to need replacements and repairs, which means that the solar powered craft is going to be grounded for around two to three weeks.


[Image Source: Solar Impulse]

The team said that the batteries overheated due to over insulation on the first day of travelling from Japan to Hawaii. Even though they kept a close eye on them during the flight, there was no way to decrease the temperature of the batteries in flight. During the flight the pilot had to ascend to 28,000 feet due to energy management.


[Image Source: Solar Impulse]

The Solar Impulse is undergoing repairs to the batteries and at the same time the team are looking into how to deal better with the cooling and heating during the long flights the plane endures. When it has been repaired the craft will take back to the skies and continue on its journey to the US. There are some stops planned and then it will head back over the Atlantic Ocean and make its way back to Abu Dhabi.


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