Catch an aerial view of Pearl Harbor and it’s easy to see the potential for rooftop solar energy. Parts of the U.S. Navy base in Hawaii are open space but much of it is a dense conglomeration of buildings and facilities, and every roof could be a potential sustainable energy generator.
The Navy is turning the potential into reality by contracting with a local company, Niking Corporation, to install solar panels on five rooftops at the base. In terms of the available roof space that may seem like more of a demonstration project than a full scale installation, but it’s still significant. The Navy expects the five roofs to bring in enough solar energy to power 440 homes, and for a state that’s not rich in fossil fuels, that’s a clear demonstration of the potential for growth in sustainable solar energy.
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Swiss test solar-power aircraft for night flight. History is being created inside a hangar in Dubendorf Air Base in Switzerland [ Images ] that will radically change the way an aircraft flies.
The prototype of an aircraft, to be propelled entirely by solar power even at night, has already been successfully tested for a ‘flea hop’ or a short flight.
Scientists and engineers are working full-steam to fly the aircraft around the world for 36 hours through day and night in the spring or summer of 2010, Bertrand Piccard, the driving force behind the Solar Impulse project and its test pilot, told PTI.
“What is being done is not a revolution. We try and open a new path and see what happens. We do not claim that commercial aviation will run on solar energy in the next couple of years. Solar Impulse an attempt to show what can be achieved by renewable energies and new technologies.”
The difference between this aircraft and similar ones developed earlier is that this is being developed to fly at night, Piccard, who created a record by being the first to fly around the world in a hot-air balloon, said.
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