solar PlaneAt the end of July, history was made in Abu Dhabi when the world’s first entirely solar powered plane completed its flight around the world without a single drop of conventional fuel.

The all-solar plane, Solar Impulse 2, first set off from the United Arab Emirates in March 2015, flying eastward around the world in 17 flights of varying length that took it through numerous countries. Despite some setbacks – including a nearly year-long delay in Hawaii caused by overheated battery damage, as CNBC reports – the plane performed well, traversing the planet completely without the use of carbon-polluting fuels.

This record-setting achievement is just the latest example of the myriad possibilities that solar technology offers in the field of travel. While the plane was not exactly fast enough to support long-distance travel as a viable solution – Solar Impulse 2 traveled at an average speed of 75 kilometers per hour, according to the project’s website – its fuel-free flight could open the door to further improvement and refinement to help conventional planes be more efficient. For example, if solar was added to a conventional aircraft, it could reduce in-flight energy costs and help diminish the reliance of airliners on jet fuel, making a more efficient and green flight a viable option.

The plane also used new battery technologies that allowed it to sustain flight even at night. The energy generated in excess of the plane’s immediate needs was stored in the onboard battery systems, which then allowed for 24-hour operation, including five nights as part of the plane’s longest trip from Japan to Hawaii. This technology could help to improve automated devices like drones or satellites, allowing them to conserve power more efficiently and operate for longer periods of time without the need to land or switch to a conventional fuel source.

Perhaps the most important part of the mission was to change attitudes around the world toward solar power and show the capabilities of solar technology.

“I hope that the result of this project will be the people understanding that you can achieve absolutely incredible goals with renewable energies and energy efficiency and new monitoring technologies,” said Bertrand Piccard, chairman and co-pilot of Solar Impulse 2, in an interview with CNBC.

Here on the ground, Solar Solutions can help your home or business add solar energy and make your home less reliant on conventional fuel. Solar energy can power your lights and other electronics, or even be used to heat the water in your shower or pool. To learn more about the capabilities of solar power for your building or to get a quote on adding solar panels, call us today at 915-581-0461.

Solar PowerFor several years now, there’s been a concerted push by individuals, corporations and nations around the world to increase the use of renewable power sources. Wind and geothermal have been popular, but nothing like the adoption rates of solar power. Solar is simple to install and can work in nearly any location that receives sunlight, making it versatile and adaptable in situations at nearly every parallel north and south of the equator.

China has emerged in recent months as a powerhouse in solar energy generation. According to Computer World, in the first half of 2016, the nation has added new solar power generation sources that are capable of creating 20 billion watts, significantly beating industry analysts’ estimates and further securing it’s position as the top solar power generating nation, a title it took from Germany just last year. China’s National Energy Agency is also forecasting growth to continue at record levels, and aims for 150 billion watts of generation capacity by the end of the decade.

This is just one of the latest signs that the solar industry as a whole is moving us into a solar-driven era of renewable power. Domestically, great strides are being made as well. In Nevada, Scientific American reports that the Crescent Dunes concentrated solar facility now uses a new method of melting salt using the sun’s energy during the day to keep electricity-generating turbines running throughout the night, creating the world’s first solar generation plant that can make power 24 hours a day.

Further to the west, California – long known for its green energy efforts – has made new advancements as well. Just last month, California Independent System Operator – a utility in the state – announced that it had broken its single-day generation record. According to Inhabitat, CISO generated a whopping 8,030 megawatts on July 12, besting the previous record by roughly 2,000 megawatts. Most notably, however, are two facts about this high level of generation. First, the power generated is capable of serving 2 million average households – an impressive number. Second, all power generated came from utility-grade sources, and did not include any of the residential or commercial solar panels that dot roofs across the state.

With so much to gain from solar power, it’s easy to see why companies and residences across the nation are continuing to invest in solar panels and other generation options. At Solar Solutions, we’ve helped countless clients with planning, purchasing and installing new solar panels are their homes and businesses. We even offer financing options, and offer free estimates to help you better understand the prospective costs and benefits of adding solar power to your property. To learn more or to get started, call us today at 915-581-0461 or request your quote online now.