From space stations to factories: five interesting ways that solar power is being harnessed

From space stations to factories: five interesting ways that solar power is being harnessed

Solar power is becoming an increasingly important part of the planet’s energy mix.

In 2016, for example, new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity increased by 50 percent globally, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA also noted that, for the first time, solar PV additions grew faster than any other fuel.

Here, Sustainable Energy looks at five interesting ways solar power is being used around the world.

International Space Station

A testament to ingenuity, technology and global co-operation, the International Space Station makes 16 orbits of the earth in 24 hours.

The station uses eight solar arrays – each of them 112 feet long and 39 feet wide – to provide it with electricity. Put together, the arrays are made up of 262,400 solar cells covering around 27,000 square feet, according to NASA.

A staggering eight miles of wire connect the station’s electrical power system, the space agency adds.

Solar aircraft

Solar-powered aircraft offer an intriguing glimpse of what aviation could look like in years to come.

In 2016, the Solar Impulse 2, a manned aircraft powered by the sun, managed to circumnavigate the globe without using fuel. The trip was completed in 17 separate legs.

In August this year, a solar-powered aircraft from European aerospace giant Airbus completed a maiden flight lasting 25 days, 23 hours, and 57 minutes.

Source: CNBC

Date: October 2018

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