A Pioneering Vision
Making the Impossible Possible
Solar Impulse is the first airplane to fly around the world without using a single drop of fuel.
Solvay is extremely proud and honored to have been the first main partner in this visionary project with Specialty Polymers on board.
Special Materials Developed for Solar Impulse
Lightweight, tough, resilient protection of the solar cells was one of the major challenges of the Solar Impulse project. So, Solvay developed a special Film based on Halar® ECTFE to achieve total light transmission and superior adherence to the PV structure. Solstick PVDF, made from Solef® PVDF was developed to provide total weatherproofing.
Superior Energy Storage System to Fly Day and Night
During the day, this revolutionary airplane flew using only the energy from the sun. But at night it had to tap into the reserve of energy stored in its batteries. Batteries are 20% of the overall aircraft weight. Using Solef® PVDF for binders and separators in Lithium-Ion batteries provides a 10% energy increase and a 2% weight decrease.
Superior Insulation and Lubrication for Record Energy Efficiency
The plane needed to achieve the highest levels of energy efficiency in order to complete its revolutionary journey. Solvay’s materials for lubrication, insulation and lightweight structural components were fundamental to the success of the mission.
Metal Replacement with Tough Lightweighting Solutions
For the plane to save maximum energy and fly at night on its batteries, it was imperative to make the structure as light as possible. Solvay’s lightweighting components played a key role in many areas of the plane.