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Solar Powered

Aircraft

Refurbished Solar Impulse 2 returns to the skies

Following a seven-month grounding in Hawaii, Solar Impulse 2 is preparing for a return to its historic round-the-world sun-powered flight. The team has carried out a maintenance flight to test out newly installed systems and plans to continue its journey at the end of April with a four-day flight from Hawaii to the west coast of the USA. Read More

Architecture

Casas Em Movimento homes turn to solar

Kitting your house out with solar panels is all well and good, save for the fact that they may spend a good part of the day unable to make the most efficient use of the sun's rays. That is unless your house is inspired by the humble sunflower, which turns and tilts it head to track the movement of the sun.Read More

Environment

Heliatek claims new conversion efficiency record for organic PV cells

German solar technology firm Heliatek claims to have outdone itself by setting a new world record for directly converting sunlight into electricity using organic photovoltaic cells. In 2012 it claimed a then world record 10.7 percent conversion efficiency and said it was gunning for 15 percent in the near future. This week it announced it's halfway there, achieving a new record of 13.2 percent.

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Space

Juno Jupiter probe sets solar-powered space distance record

NASA's unmanned Juno deep space probe may still be over six months away from reaching Jupiter, but it's already flown into the record books. On Wednesday, January 13 at 2:00 pm EST (19:00 GMT) the planetary orbiter became the most distant solar-powered craft from Earth as it passed a point 493 million miles (793 million km) from the Sun. Juno is the ninth deep space probe to visit the outer Solar System and the first to rely on solar panels for power instead of nuclear generators.Read More

Urban Transport

There's now one mö solar-electric velomobile on the road

Although velomobiles in general are a rather obscure class of vehicle, the human/solar-powered Elf is certainly one of the better-known recent examples. Inspired by its design and performance, Spanish startup evovelo recently put the finishing touches on the prototype of a similar vehicle, known as the mö. Like the Elf, it's propelled by pedal-power and/or an electric motor – and that motor is in turn powered by the sun.Read More

Aircraft

Volta Flyer is made to teach kids about solar-powered flight

Whether they've been crossing the English Channel, traversing the Alps, or attempting to fly around the world, solar-powered planes have been in the news a lot this year. While the aircraft are certainly fascinating and inspiring, there's no way that most of would ever be able to afford one … or is there? If a new Kickstarter campaign is successful, you'll be able to get a Volta Flyer solar airplane for just US$40. The only thing is, it'll be a little on the small side.Read More

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