Around 22,000 cells will be used in Solar Impulses second solar airplane. They are expected to power the electrical engines; excess solar energy will then be stored in lithium batteries for night flying. SunPower says its product was chosen due to both the high efficiency of its cells, 22.7 percent, and their 135 micron thickness.
"SunPower's solar cells are optimum for this project, as they offer the performance and low-weight that is needed for our revolutionary solar airplanes," said Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulse co-founder and CEO.
This is the second time that SunPower has supplied its cells to Solar Impulse. The company was also involved in the first solar airplane project, which saw a world record broken in 2010 when it succeeded in flying for 26 consecutive hours powered only by solar energy.
To mark the achievement of Solar Impulse founders Bertrand Piccard and Borschberg, SolarWorld presented them with its Einstein Award at this years EU PVSEC in Hamburg, Germany.
SunPower has been involved in a number of unique solar projects over the years. In 1993, its photovoltaic cells were used in the World Solar Challenge, which saw solar-powered vehicles driving from Australias Darwin to Adelaide. It also worked with NASA on the unmanned Helios solar plane, and has recently joined forces with Planet Solar to power the largest solar catamaran.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.