The Challenge of the “1000 Solutions Has Started!
On 10 February 2015, the Prince of Monaco, HSH Albert II, launched a mythical challenge, a trip around the world with an aircraft powered only by solar energy: the Solar Impulse2 aircraft designed by Bertrand Piccard.
An air fireball with wings covered with solar panels!
The technical teams of Solar Impulse, a real army of scientists, were able to follow the two pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Bonshberg 24 hours a day, calculating the trajectories live from the Principality of Monaco and foreseeing, in real time, the weather variations throughout the unimaginable mission.
This adventure, supported by many partners and in particular by the the government of the Principality and the Prince Albert II Foundation (www, p.FPA2.org), saw a single-seater plane with a solar-powered electric motor fly by day as well as by night, without fuel or polluting emissions.
An extraordinary challenge and a hope for the future: in fact, the aerial circumnavigation around the world, at an altitude between 6,000 and 8,500 meters and an average speed of 90 km x hour, represents what will be in the field of future.
Bertrand Piccard and André Bonshberg completed the World Tour by landing in Dubai on 26 July 2016.
The Solar Impulse2 traveled 40,000 kilometers without a drop of fuel !
But who is Bertrand Piccard, founder and President of @solarimpulse Foundation?
Bertand was born in Switzerland, in Lausanne, on March 1, 1958. Father of three daughters is married to Michèle Piccard who heads the institutional communication of the @solarimpulse foundation.
Aeronaut and graduate in psychiatry, he was European champion in hang gliding aerobatics and won the first non-stop transatlantic balloon race aboard the Breitling Orbiter balloon.
He won the coveted “Henri Deutsche de la Meurthe de l’Academie des Sports” award, an award that honors a sporting achievement that is decisive in scientific or moral progress for humanity. At the age of 12 he was able to witness the take-off of the Saturn V rocket and the space missions from Apollo 7 to Apollo 12: at that time his father, Jacques Piccard, was working in Florida for the Grumman aeronautical industry involved in the realization of the aerospace program Apollo. The friendship that binds Prince Albert II Bertrand Piccard, both born in March 1958 and both animated by the same passion for environmental protection and renewable energy, is well known.
Their parents were friends: Prince Rainier III frequented the oceanographer Jacques Piccard, sharing the same ideals with him.
A nice note is to emphasize that the unforgettable Hergé, author of “The Adventures of Tintin” was inspired by the personality of the Swiss explorer and physicist Auguste Piccard, grandfather of Bertrand Piccard, to create the character of Professor Tournesol (Sunflower) in the comic Tintin and Milù!
In the Principality of Monaco, during the sixteenth edition of the EVER Exhibition, at the Chapiteau in Fontvieille from the last 5th to the 8th May, several meetings were presented with a view to proposing the latest research for sustainable development.
Last Thursday , May 5th, in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II and numerous personalities, we were able to attend the conference “Ecology, Economy and 1000 Solutions, the context and ambitions” presented by H.E. Bernard Fautrier with the intervention of Bertrand Piccard, president of the @solarimpulse foundation and ambassador of the car brand Hyundai.
At the end of the conference we were able to interview him by asking him: the Solar Impulse challenge has become a foundation, can you tell us more?
“The Solar Impulse plane showed that solar energies are capable of realizing the impossible. Since 2016, the @solarimpulse foundation has launched a “World Alliance for Efficient Solutions” with only one goal: to find 1000 unique, economic solutions with a positive environmental impact.
The Solar Impulse Foundation therefore sought 1000 solutions to federate together institutions, start-ups, companies in the field of “clean” technologies for sustainable development in order to stimulate and promote, throughout the world, the implementation of innovative and efficient solutions.
The 1000 Solutions have been found and now a new challenge is imposed: call governments and industries to support these innovative technologies in order to transform them into a keystone to ensure economic growth while protecting our planet. An open Online Guide will be created on the website of our foundation. The most appropriate answers will be provided to the questions received.
What were the most difficult challenges during these two journeys of the world? The first one was in a balloon, against and with the wind, the second one thanks to solar energy but with all the problems related to the vagaries of meteorology. Which one excited you the most?
“In any project, the most emotional moment is at the beginning, when they tell you that your project is not feasible. Then the challenge begins, because you know very well that its realization is possible: precisely because you are passionate about innovation, you know that everything is based on preliminary and meticulous research.
To allow the success of a challenge every detail has been examined !
On board of Solar Impulse2, during the aerial circumnavigation of the globe, I faced a thousand difficulties related to weather conditions but there was a moment when I fully understood the importance of this challenge.
I was flying over the Hawaiian Islands with ideal weather conditions, the sun was shining in the sky and I could have flown endlessly, as long as I wanted …
The propellers turned at full speed without emitting noise, the plane powered only by solar energy silently flew over the ocean…
At that precise moment I became aware that it was not me living in the future but the whole world living in the past!
Yes, because all our technologies are obsolete and, apart from mobile telephony, everything else is archaic.”
The detractors of renewable energies denounce that the extraction of raw material necessary for processing the development of the latest generation engines is more polluting than that produced by combustion engines and the hypothetical benefits eliminated. What do you think ?
“Behaviours evolve slowly than that of innovations . As I said before, the technologies in use are obsolete but our awareness is really too slow.
In order to achieve an eco-sustainable reality it is necessary to evolve and modernize laws and regulations. It is not enough to reconcile economics and ecology… but above all, ecologists and economists are to be put in agreement.
During this conference “Ecology, Economics and 1000 Solutions” all the 1000 innovative projects that a team of about 400 experts examined were presented .
Today we are already beyond the problems related to its demand: the project “Start up France” recovers the polluting heat produced by the industry by reintroduce it and use it in the industry itself. Nowadays it is possible to recover methane from public landfills.
Some cities, to replace traditional heating, will use , in the construction of new buildings, pumps by directly piercing the ground in the front. This technology can also be used on pre-existing buildings with high energy consumption.
The LESS we consume the LESS we need to produce: this is the solution. Unfortunately, to do so, the obstacle of a slow bureaucracy must be overcome.”
In Monaco the public building maintenance service, in collaboration with SeaVergie, has just dismantled its latest fossil fuel heating system at the administration center. The new source of thermal energy will be thalassothermy, renewable energy that recovers thermal energy from the sea to heat and cool buildings or produce hot water. The Principality of Monaco was one of the first countries to develop this type of renewable energy.
Among the establishments that already use seawater heat pumps are the Stade Nautique Rainier III, the Grimaldi Forum, the Oceanographic Museum, the Auditorium Rainier III and same of the establishments of the Bains de Mer SBM
The Salon EVER is not a dream ( rêvE in french ) !
The day after EVER began the fourth edition of the Monaco E-Prix, the alternative energy rally attended by about 6500 people… despite the pandemic and in full compliance with all Health rules. An innovative wind!
Here we are, projected into the future… towards a more ecological future!
Retrospective Video of Ever : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu7WX_8R_lo&t=7s
Copyright Ely Galleani