Following the record-breaking oceanic flight of 5 days and 5 nights (117 hours and 52 minutes) in a solar-powered airplane, Solar Impulse will undergo maintenance repairs on the batteries due to damages brought about by overheating.
Despite having completed the longest and most difficult leg of the Round the World Solar Flight, #Si2 has suffered battery damages due to overheating.

During the first ascent on day one of the flight from Nagoya to Hawaii, the battery temperature increased too much due to over insulation. And while the Mission Team was monitoring this very closely during the mission leg, there was no way to decrease the temperature for the remaining duration of the flight as each daily cycle requires an ascend to 28’000 feet and descend for energy management issues.

The damage to certain parts of the batteries is irreversible and will require repairs and replacements that will take several weeks to work through. In parallel, the Solar Impulse engineering team is looking at various options for better management of the cooling and heating process for very long flights. Solar Impulse does not see the possibility for any flights before 2-3 weeks at the earliest.

Solar Impulse initiated the #futureisclean campaign, calling on supporters to add their voice to the message on a website serving as a petition to convince governments around the globe to implement the necessary clean technology solutions and help ensure that the United Nations’ upcoming Conference on Climate Change (COP21) is successful in renewing the Kyoto protocol this December in Paris.

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We demonstrated that a solar-powered airplane can fly day and night without fuel. The challenge is now to fly around the world in 2015.

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