SolarStratos Aims to Reach Stratosphere More Than 80,000 Feet Above Earth Using SunPower® Solar Technology

sustainable aviation

The Two-Seater Solar Plane is Expected to Break Records with World’s First Piloted Stratospheric Solar Flight by 2020

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable energy companies headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley, has joined the Mission SolarStratos expedition as the exclusive solar cell provider for its aircraft. Within the next two years, SolarStratos is expected to be the first solar-powered plane to soar above the Earth’s troposphere and into the stratosphere – flying twice as high as a commercial airliner’s typical cruising altitude – without a drop of fossil fuel.

 

“SolarStratos has an opportunity to push the limits of what we think is humanly possible and prove that renewable energy has the capacity to power our lives while preserving our planet,” said SolarStratos President and Pilot Raphael Domjan. “We are fortunate to energize SolarStratos with SunPower’s industry-leading solar technology and look forward to further showcasing the value of innovative and reliable solar solutions for the world to see.”

A passionate, award-winning adventurer with experience bringing record-breaking projects to fruition, Domjan was the founder and the expedition leader of PlanetSolar – also powered by SunPower solar technology – which became the first boat to sail around the world on solar energy alone in 2012. This September, Domjan will attempt his first world-record flight, reaching 33,000 feet in a SolarStratos prototype plane.

SunPower® Maxeon® solar cells were selected for SolarStratos aircrafts because they are highly efficient, durable, lightweight, and about as thin as a human hair. On the next generation SolarStratos plane, SunPower’s 24-percent efficient cells will be incorporated into the wings and horizontal stabilizer to power an electrical engine and charge a 20-kilowatt hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery for energy supply when the sun is out of sight.

Next Generation SolarStratos Plane at a Glance   

  • 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

“Soaring at such heights requires an unprecedented level of solar performance and durability, making SunPower’s unique solar technology a natural choice for SolarStratos,” said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO and chairman of the board. “The plane features the same extraordinary cells as those found in our high efficiency solar panels powering homes and businesses here on land – a true testament to our innovation as a solar leader.”

In addition to supporting SolarStratos and the solar boat PlanetSolar, SunPower has a pioneering legacy of powering unique solar projects. In 1993, SunPower’s high-efficiency solar cells drove a Honda solar 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. Most recently, SunPower helped Solar Impulse 2 – a single-seater solar plane – complete its groundbreaking flight around the world with zero fuel, the first for an aircraft of its kind.

About SunPower
As one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable energy companies, SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) provides a diverse group of customers with complete solar solutions and services. Residential customers, businesses, governments, schools and utilities around the globe rely on SunPower’s more than 30 years of proven experience. From the first flip of the switch, SunPower delivers maximum value and superb performance throughout the long life of every solar system. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, SunPower has dedicated, customer-focused employees in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. For more information about how SunPower is changing the way our world is powered, visit www.sunpower.com.

SunPower’s Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding projected energy output, product performance and efficiency, and project plans and timeline. These forward-looking statements are based on our current assumptions, expectations, and beliefs and involve substantial risks and uncertainties that may cause results, performance, or achievement to materially differ from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: regulatory changes and the availability of economic incentives promoting use of solar energy, competition and market conditions in the solar and general energy industry, and fluctuations or declines in the performance of our solar panels and other products and solutions. A detailed discussion of these factors and other risks that affect our business is included in filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from time to time, including our most recent reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, particularly under the heading “Risk Factors.” A copy of this filing is available online from the SEC or on the SEC Filings section of our Investor Relations website at investors.sunpowercorp.com. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information currently available to us, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events.

© 2018 SunPower Corporation. All Rights Reserved. SUNPOWER, the SUNPOWER logo and MAXEON are registered trademarks of SunPower Corporation in the U.S. and other countries as well. All other trademarks and logos are properties of their respective owners.

sustainable aviation

SolarStratos (prototype pictured) aims to reach the stratosphere more than 80,000 feet above Earth using SunPower solar technology. (PRNewsfoto/SunPower Corp.)

 

SOURCE SunPower Corp.

Total Partners With EREN Renewable Energy

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Expanding renewable wind and solar business

Paris, September 19, 2017: Total has signed an agreement with EREN RE to accelerate its growth in the production of power from renewable sources. Total will acquire an indirect interest of 23% in EREN RE by subscribing to a capital increase for an amount of €237.5 million. The agreement also gives Total the possibility to take over control of EREN RE after a period of 5 years.

Founded in 2012, EREN RE has developed a diversified asset base (notably wind, solar and hydro) representing a global installed gross capacity of 650 MW in operation or under construction. Its ambition is to achieve a global installed capacity of more than 3 GW within 5 years. The capital increase subscribed by Total will enable EREN RE to cover its financing needs to accelerate its development in the coming years.

“Total integrates climate challenge into its strategy and is pursuing steady growth in low-carbon businesses, in particular in renewable energy.” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total.

Source: Total

Carbon Dioxide Captured from Air Converted

Directly to Methanol Fuel for the First Time

“One-pot” process to create a sustainable fuel from greenhouse gas emissions

Los Angeles, February 2, 2016: For the first time, researchers at the Loker Hydrocarbon Institute of the University of Southern California have directly converted carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into methanol at relatively low temperatures.

The work, led by G.K. Surya Prakash and George Olah of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, is part of a broader effort to stabilize the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere by using renewable energy to transform the greenhouse gas into its combustible cousin – attacking global warming from two angles simultaneously. Methanol is a clean-burning fuel for internal combustion engines, a fuel for fuel cells and a raw material used to produce many petrochemical products. “We need to learn to manage carbon. That is the future,” said Prakash, professor of chemistry and director of the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute.

The researchers bubbled air through an aqueous solution of pentaethylenehexamine (or PEHA), adding a catalyst to encourage hydrogen to latch onto the CO2 under pressure. They then heated the solution, converting 79 percent of the CO2 into methanol. Though mixed with water, the resulting methanol can be easily distilled, Prakash said.

The new process was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society on Dec. 29, 2015. Prakash and Olah hope to refine the process to the point that it could be scaled up for industrial use, though that may be five to 10 years away.

“Of course it won’t compete with oil today, at around $30 per barrel,” Prakash said. “But right now we burn fossilized sunshine. We will run out of oil and gas, but the sun will be there for another five billion years. So we need to be better at taking advantage of it as a resource.”

Despite its outsized impact on the environment, the actual concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is relatively small – roughly 400 parts per million, or 0.04 percent of the total volume, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. (For a comparison, there’s more than 23 times as much the noble gas Argon in the atmosphere – which still makes up less than 1 percent of the total volume.)

Previous efforts have required a slower multistage process with the use of high temperatures and high concentrations of CO2, meaning that renewable energy sources would not be able to efficiently power the process, as Olah and Prakash hope.

The new system operates at around 125 to 165 degrees Celsius (257 to 359 degrees Fahrenheit), minimizing the decomposition of the catalyst – which occurs at 155 degrees Celsius (311 degrees Fahrenheit). It also uses a homogeneous catalyst, making it a quicker “one-pot” process. In a lab, the researchers demonstrated that they were able to run the process five times with only minimal loss of the effectiveness of the catalyst.

Carbon Dioxide Captured from Air Converted Directly to Methanol Fuel for the First Time

Researchers making sustainable fuel from thin air at the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute

For additional information please visit: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.5b12354

Source: EurekAlert!/USC University of Southern California

Portfolio of Advanced Renewable Fuels Plants

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SG Preston and IHI E&C Announce Strategic Agreement

Houston, Oct. 20, 2015: SG Preston, a Philadelphia-based bioenergy company, and IHI E&C, a Houston-based engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) subsidiary of IHI Corporation (Japan), announced a ground-breaking agreement for a Multi-Facility Program that will include the development and construction of a series of commercial volume, advanced biofuels manufacturing plants, initially in the U.S. Midwest and Canada.

The plants will use proven, commercial scale technologies for the production of renewable diesel and jet fuel targeting U.S. and global industries seeking a volume-based, competitively priced solution to their environmental sustainability mandates.

“IHI E&C is a perfect fit for our U.S. and global strategic vision,” said R. Delbert LeTang, SG Preston President and Chief Executive Officer. “The need to drive thought leadership and momentum toward tangible solutions in the U.S. alternative energy market has become a strategic imperative that we intend to lead in alliance with global blue chip partners in engineering and construction, technology and manufacturing.”

IHI E&C will serve as turnkey EPC to SG Preston’s biofuels initiative, delivering “lump sum,” fixed price engineering and construction, a first in the renewable diesel and jet fuels landscape at commercial scale.

“We have maintained our commitment to focused execution of our volume-based advanced biofuels plan,” LeTang said.  “We are extremely pleased to launch this industry-changing initiative in coordination with IHI E&C as a part of our integrated system of global, blue chip partners to rapidly take strategy and concept into design, engineering and execution at commercial scale.”

This first-of-a-kind approach to the renewable fuels market positions SG Preston at the forefront of providing solutions to the renewable energy challenge, which, to-date, have eluded global industry.

“IHI E&C is tremendously excited to apply our program management expertise to this ground-breaking set of renewable fuels projects,” said IHI E&C President Glyn Rodgers.  “We’re pleased to support SG Preston in pursuit of their far-reaching vision, extending engineering, procurement and construction services from our Houston base of operations.”

SG Preston will deploy its biofuels strategy initially at five plants (South Point and Van Wert, Ohio, Logansport, Indiana, and two additional, to-be-announced sites, one in Michigan, and one in Ontario, Canada), each with an initial capacity to produce 120 million gallons of renewable diesel and jet fuel annually.  Each facility will have a positive economic impact on the local community, in both the near term during construction of the facilities and longer term throughout their operation.

Social and market forces, including tighter regulation of carbon-emitting industries, worldwide demand for growth in clean fuels, and a growing need to reduce CO2 emissions and reduce the amount of waste produced, have combined to drive the SG Preston initiative.

SG Preston’s business model integrates bioenergy development and a market service strategy into existing delivery systems for energy supply and development across the entire value chain.

“We are combining existing technology and infrastructure in new ways, and on a larger scale than ever before to help global industry meet its demand for more environmentally friendly energy and fuels,” said Dwayne Brown, SG Preston Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives.

IHI E&C will steward and guide SG Preston’s Multi-Facility Program to create and standardize replication benefits in engineering and design targeted at delivering volume quantities of advanced renewable diesel and jet fuel to global market customers in an abbreviated timeframe.  This highly efficient development strategy will include abbreviated estimate development and synergies in procurement, construction, commissioning, and plant start-up.

In addition to applying its thought leadership to fuels in the public and private transportation, manufacturing and utilities industries, commercial and military aviation are among SG Preston’s target markets. 

The aviation industry’s focus on renewable fuels is driven by increasingly stringent environmental mandates, and the need to deliver more environmentally friendly fuels, all while facing blending challenges, commodity pricing volatility to their primary fuels, risks to transportation infrastructure, logistics, and physical capacity constraints.

SG Preston will provide immediate partnering solutions to the global aviation industry, with targeted, competitive value-added market offerings.

About S.G. Preston Company: Philadelphia, PA based S.G. Preston Company was founded in 2012 by R. Delbert LeTang as a global, fully integrated developer and operator of sustainable BioEnergy fuelstocks, products, and waste-to-BioEnergy systems. SG Preston is introducing the future today, by combining existing technology and infrastructure in new ways, and on a larger scale than ever before.

About IHI E&C: IHI E&C International Corporation (IHI E&C), a wholly-owned subsidiary of IHI Corporation, is a Houston-based engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company providing energy solutions around the globe.  We are a talented collaboration of people with extensive technical knowledge and expertise that allow us to deliver projects in a variety of industries, including Gas Processing and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Petrochemicals, Chemicals and Polymers, Synthesis Gas and Derivatives, and Refining.  Our comprehensive understanding of project life-cycles combined with our full-service capabilities enable us to span the entire project development cycle, from feasibility studies and front-end development to comprehensive EPC work, commissioning and start-up.  Our technological expertise is indicative of the value that we offer our customers, our shareholders, and society.

Source: Forward looking statement by IHI E&C