Solar Impulse - Around the world in a solar airplane

To fly night and day without fuel, powered by solar energy, and to demonstrate the huge potential of new technologies for saving energy and applying renewable forms of energy.

SunPower™ high-efficiency solar cells power Solar Impulse
SunPower joins Solar Impulse as official supplier: after having provided its high-efficiency solar cells to the 1st prototype of Solar Impulse (HB-SIA), SunPower world-record technology has been chosen again to power the 2nd prototype (HB-SIB), the plane that will fly around the world in 2015.

About Solar Impulse

  • The wingspan of an Airbus A340: 63.40 m
  • The weight of a family car:
    1,600 kg
  • The power of a scooter:
    4 x 10 HP engines
  • Average flying speed: 70km/h
  • Maximum cruising altitude:
    8,500 m

To produce an aircraft that will take off and fly autonomously day and night, propelled only by solar energy, is a tremendous challenge that requires the best and most reliable technology. SunPower monocrystalline solar cells have been selected amongst many due to the unique Maxeon™ solar cell design, that combines lightness and efficiency. 12,000 cells are integrated into the plane’s wing and horizontal stabilizer, supplying four electric motors and charge the 400 kg lithium polymer batteries during the day, enabling the aircraft to fly at night.

“SunPower is definitely the leader in development of high-efficiency solar technologies. It provides Solar Impulse with the optimum solutions in terms of performance and lightness for our revolutionary airplanes”, explained André Borschberg, Co-founder & CEO of Solar Impulse.

"SunPower is a pioneer in its field and represents exactly the kind of partner we like to work with, in order to spread our message about the promotion of renewable energy”, added Bertrand Piccard, Initiator & Chairman of Solar Impulse.

SunPower has a legacy of powering unique solar projects.  In 1993, SunPower’s high-efficiency solar cells drove the Honda car to win the World Solar Challenge from Darwin to Adelaide in Australia a full day ahead of the second place finisher.  The company also worked with NASA to develop the unmanned Helios solar plane that flew to a record altitude of 96,863 feet, also powered by SunPower high-efficiency solar cells.  Since 2005, SunPower has supported university students with high-efficiency SunPower solar systems for their solar home entries in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.  And in 2009, the company also supported students with their entries in the first Solar Decathlon Europe. Most recently, SunPower partnered with PlanetSolar to power the world’s largest solar catamaran, which, in 2012, successfully completed its world tour.

About Solar Impulse

Read more and watch videos on the Solar Impulse website

Contact SunPower

Take the first step toward energy independence and environmental leadership.


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