Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Here comes the sun

Posted by Charles II on March 29, 2013

Rory Carroll, Guardian:

The creators of the world’s first solar-powered plane have announced it will fly across the United States in a coast-to-coast showcase of the experimental technology.

The Solar Impulse, which has a wingspan longer than a Boeing 747 but weighs less than a car, is due to take off from San Francisco in May and spend two months hop-scotching across US cities until ending its tour in New York in July.

The plane’s capabilities have advanced rapidly in recent years. It flew 26 hours non-stop in 2010 to show it could absorb enough solar energy during sunlight to continue during the night. In 2012 it flew 1,550 miles from Madrid to Morocco, crossing a narrow stretch of the Mediterranean, in 20 hours

Now if only the US were not so blind that it can’t even see the future.

7 Responses to “Here comes the sun”

  1. jo6pac said

    Yes blinded by greedy corp. Amerika.

    http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/03/brazilian-made-plastic-solar-panels-a-clean-energy-breakthrough/

    • Charles II said

      I hope they’ve patented it.

      That could be a complete game changer!

      • Look at those strips of plastic — even the dark portions are still translucent. You could mount a square meter’s worth of them inside each car, on the tops of windshields and rear windows — they would serve as eyeshades and collect energy at the same time. If the car is a typical (non-hatchback, non-station-wagon, non-SUV) design, you’d have about a square meter of top-of-dashboard and rear-window-ledge space to use as well. Considering that the researchers claim a panel of two to three square meters could power the household of a Brazilian family of four, you’d come very close to being able to power a car based on solar window treatments alone.

      • Charles II said

        Yes, though the typical Brazilian household is probably lighter on electronic gadgets.

  2. Stormcrow said

    Now if only the US were not so blind that it can’t even see the future.

    Most of the few Americans who can, don’t want to.

    For understandable reasons.

    The ticking carbon bomb will explode soon

    • Charles II said

      And if that’s not enough, there’s the methane clathrates that will be released with melting.

      Some very bright minds have been looking at what to do about the crisis, Stormcrow. Phoenix Woman linked an article on direct conversion of atmospheric carbon into 3-hydroxypropionic acid. Even my not-so-bright mind came up with a simple means to prevent the drying out of continental interiors that threatens food productivity (and, incidentally, reverse global warming to a small degree).

      I don’t know if the non-a–holes will succeed in preventing catastrophe. I do know that the one sure way that there will be catastrophe is if we panic and convince ourselves that it is ever “game over.”

      • I don’t know if the non-a–holes will succeed in preventing catastrophe. I do know that the one sure way that there will be catastrophe is if we panic and convince ourselves that it is ever “game over.”

        Yup. We can’t afford the luxury of wallowing in reflexive, perpetual pessimism on everything. If it’s right, it doesn’t make us feel any better; if it’s wrong, we look like doofuses.

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