Solar Powered


Sunseeker Duo solar-powered airplane flies across the Alps – and back

This July, PC Aero’s single-seater solar-electric Elektra One Solar airplane got some media attention by flying across the Alps in both directions within one trip. Starting in 2009, however, Solar Flight president Eric Raymond took his solar-electric Sunseeker II over the mountain range a number of times. This August, he did his own over-and-back trip … although this time he flew his two-seater Sunseeker Duo, which allowed him to bring his wife Irena along as a second pilot.Read More


Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship to cross Atlantic without a crew

If you should encounter a crewless ship out on the Atlantic Ocean in a few years, don’t worry about it being the ghostly Flying Dutchman … it may be the Mayflower, however. No, not the square-rigger that brought Pilgrims to America, but the Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship (MARS). Plans call for the wind- and solar-powered trimaran to sail itself from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 2020 – the 400th anniversary of the original ship’s journey – carrying out a variety of research projects along the way.Read More


Immortus solar sports car to offer unlimited range on sunny days

If you’ve ever scanned the comments section on an electric car or bike article, you’ll be familiar with this complaint: "that’s not green, it’s just a coal-powered vehicle." Well, not this one. The Immortus is an electric car built to generate its own power through some 7 sq m (75 sq ft) of solar photovoltaic paneling. You can charge its battery off the mains if you have to, but if conditions are sunny, the inbuilt solar panels alone will let you drive at more than 60 km/h (37 mph) for an unlimited distance.Read More

Mobile Technology

Bigbelly's Wi-Fi-enabled, solar-powered bins could lead to smarter cities

If you're walking down the street and your mobile device suddenly detects a Wi-Fi hotspot, stop and take a look around – you may see one of Bigbelly's solar-powered, Wi-Fi-enabled, recycling/garbage bins nearby. With the help of New York city-based Downtown Alliance, Bigbelly has been conducting a pilot test in which two of these bins were turned into free public Wi-Fi hotspots. They've already proven a success, but Bigbelly feels there is room to do even more for cities and their residents.Read More


Next leg of Solar Impulse round-the-world flight pushed back to April 2016

The Solar Impulse team has announced that the completion of its round-the-world solar flight will now be postponed until next April. The batteries of the Solar Impulse 2 solar-powered aircraft sustained damage as the aircraft ascended to an optimal energy-management altitude of 28,000 ft (8,534 m) on the first day of its ambitious Japan-to-Hawaii flight. It is believed that a high rate of climb coupled with over-insulation of the gondolas resulted in irreversible overheating damage to the aircraft's batteries. Read More


Elektra One Solar becomes first solar-electric aircraft to cross the Alps in both directions

It's been quite a month for electric aircraft. First, the Solar Impulse 2 broke distance and duration records when it flew from Japan to Hawaii. Then, two competing teams both claimed to have made the world's first electric flight across the English Channel. Now, Germany's PC-Aero says that its Elektra One Solar has become the first solar-electric plane to cross the Alps in both directions.Read More

Tiny Houses

Students envision tiny house community on rails

We've covered plenty of tiny houses on wheels here at Gizmag, but Small House on Tracks is the first that would sit on rails. Designed by Polish architecture students Tomasz Zablotny and Paweł Maszota, the concept comprises a number of expandable tiny homes that could be moved around on existing rail tracks in Gdańsk Shipyard. Read More


Solar Impulse 2 stuck in Hawaii after record-breaking flight

Flying around the world on only the power of the sun turns out to be more of a stop-and-go affair than even the team behind Solar Impulse 2 may have guessed. The solar-powered, single-pilot aircraft began circling the globe from Abu Dhabi back in March, but must now remain in Hawaii until early August. While Swiss pilot and Solar Impulse co-founder André Borschberg survived a record-breaking five-day flight from Nagoya, Japan to Oahu with just minimal sleep, SI2's batteries didn't all fare so well without rest.Read More


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