SolarStratos To the Edge of Space With Sunpower Solar Panels

SunPower isn’t just powering roofs and solar farms these days. The company, which touts its solar panels as the most durable and efficient on the market, is looking at other applications. I’d be hard pressed to find one as awesome as the upcoming Mission SolarStratos expedition which will be powered by its 22-24% efficient Maxeon™ solar cells.

The SolarStratos is an electric plane that has the flight characteristics of a low drag glider. It has extremely long thin wings and a very small profile.  However it is outfitted with an electric motor, a very efficient front propeller, and wings and tail covered with around 24 square meters of solar panels. Inside fit up to 2 pilots in fighter configuration and what appears to be a 20kWh battery (nearly the same size as the 125 mile Hyundai IONIQ).

Interestingly this plane will not be pressurized, requiring the pilots to wear space suits that are also powered by the energy from the solar panels and stored in the battery.

Some stats from the press release (below):

  • Length: 8.5 meters – about 30 feet, or the distance from the end zone to the 10-yard line on an American football field
  • Wingspan: 24.8 meters – about 81 feet, or the length of two standard city buses
  • Weight: 450 kilograms – about as heavy as a grand piano; to make SolarStratos its lightest, the cabin will not be pressurized, requiring pilots to wear astronaut suits that are pressurized by solar energy
  • Engine: 32-kilowatt electrical engine, about one-third the size of what would power an electric vehicle
  • Energy: 22 square meters of SunPower Maxeon solar cells, each reaching 22 to 24 percent efficiency
  • Batteries: One 20-kilowatt lithium ion battery
  • Autonomy: Self-generates electricity with solar to power the plane for more than 12 hours

Contact us today to learn how Sunpower solar panels can power your commercial business by lowering your annual operating costs.  Call 480.636.0321

The Basic Components of a Commercial Solar Panel System

How do solar panels work? What is the photovoltaic effect? What are the basic components of a commercial solar panel installation?

Honestly, solar is super simple.

This video overviews the typical commercial solar panel system components and how solar panels produce electricity. Really basic stuff but it’s part of the education process of helping people understand renewable energy and solar systems. It even covers potential savings to your average electric bill with solar panels.



So if you’re considering installing solar for your business, invest the 80 seconds to watch. Depending on your situation and need we install a variety of different solar panel manufacturers for our customers solar systems. We have a lot of flexibility but lean on the equipment that offers the maximum amount of value for each situation. Sunpower is known in the solar community as one of the best if not the best equipment manufacturer in the industry. It’s truly a superior product in many ways and one of our best selling products. Call today to learn more about how solar can help your business lower it’s electricity costs and save your business money.