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Solar Powered

Finding hangars to house an aircraft with a wingspan greater than a Boeing 787 Dreamliner is no easy task when planning a round-the-world journey. That’s why the Solar Impulse team designed an inflatable mobile hangar to be used on the Solar Impulse’s planned 2015 circumnavigation of the globe. After a storm damaged the hangar that was to host the solar-powered aircraft at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, the team was forced to deploy the structure for the first time to keep the 2013 Across America mission on schedule. Read More
The Solar Impulse has broken its own record for the longest distance flight of a solar-powered aircraft following the second leg of its journey across the USA. Solar Impulse touched down in Texas at 1:08 a.m. local time after a flight of 18 hours 21 minutes having covered at least 868 miles. Read More
With its previous circumnavigation of the planet, it had already set the record for longest distance traveled by a purely solar-powered boat. Now, the Tûranor PlanetSolar (which is also the world’s largest solar-powered watercraft), has broken its own 2010 record for fastest Atlantic crossing by a solar-powered boat. Read More
Developed by British engineer James Bentham, the Solar Kettle can boil water simply by using sunlight. The portable thermos-like product uses a special thermal technology to boil water without the need for any power input, thus making it ideal for camping, picnics and outdoor activities. Read More

Cats may love batting at tantilizingly-dangled kitty toys, but most of us can’t dangle those toys for our felines all day long – not even by remote control. The Solar Chaser was designed to pick up the slack, using an integrated solar panel to power its toy-bobbing arm. Read More

We live in an age where people in the developed world are so dependent on electricity that if it wasn't available a whole civilization would collapse in a week. It’s therefore ironic that 1.32 billion people around the world are still without what most people have come to see as a basic necessity. To mark its 100th anniversary, the Panasonic Corporation plans to distribute 100,000 solar lanterns that the company has developed that can not only provide light, but also charge mobile phones and other small devices. Read More

This morning at 6:12 am PST, the Solar Impulse solar-powered airplane took off from San Francisco’s Moffett Airfield, beginning the first leg of its planned flight across the U.S. Read More

Robots made for kids tend to move in a way that can only be described as lurching. The 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit puts that expectation to good use with its shambling Zombie-Bot model, but with thirteen other forms, it can also mimic several animals, wheeled transportation, robots, and even multiple seafaring contraptions. As it's equipped with a solar panel you'll never have to have to find a battery charger. Read More

While there are already a number of solar-powered model cars on the market, Toylabs’ new Volta Racer is unique in a couple of ways – you put it together yourself, and it incorporates a flexible polycrystalline silicon solar panel. Although my days of playing with toy cars are behind me (sort of), my days of tinkering with things aren’t, so I decided to check out one of the sun-powered autos for myself. Read More
Solar power holds the promise of clean, limitless energy, but it currently suffers from high costs and an inherent disadvantage of not working when the sun isn't shining. The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is taking a best-of-both-worlds approach by developing a hybrid solar/gas system that increases the efficiency and reduces the carbon footprint of natural gas power plants. Read More
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