EXPO-2017: Swiss Solar Stratos project
Switzerland has unveiled the potential of solar energy at EXPO 2017. Switzerland is the first country that tested an aircraft powered by solar arrays. The test pilot is the famous explorer Raphael Domjan. A person with green mindset, he made a round-the-world trip on a yacht equipped with solar panels several years ago. At present, Domjan is planning to go to outer space on a unique electric Solar Stratos aircraft. Solar panels installed on its wings power the aircraft’s engine allowing it to fly without the usual refueling.
RAPHAEL DOMJAN, PILOT, SWITZERLAND:
- I was traveling since 20 years in the North Pole, and I can see by myself big glaciers just disappear in 10 or 15 years but big glacier. It was for me the first step when I realized that climate change seems that it’s not just in Arctic but something that is real. We have technologies and we have enough renewable energy to change, and it’s when I decided that I have to do something in order to spread the message we have some problems but we know how to do it.
It is planned to reach the height of eternal stratospheric frost by 2019. Raphael Domjan made his first test flight on the solar plane that lasted six minutes. The plane flew 300 meters above the ground. If the project succeeds the aircrafts will be used in space tourism. The Swiss company, engaged in innovative developments, is planning to equip spacecraft with its solar panels in the future.
MARIO EL-KHOURY, DIRECTOR GENERAL, CSEM, SWITZERLAND:
- Maybe you heard a lot about increasing the efficiency of solar sets because it’s very nice for public. A big part of the research we are doing is to reduce the cost. So over a year the cost reduces thanks to advanced research. Then the second factor is that we see in renewable energy, we see the same positive circle as in electrics. The more people are using it the faster the price is decreasing. This affect is very positive.