Battery Problems Ground Solar Impulse 2

Si2 suffered 'irreversible' battery damage.

Solar Impulse 2 is stuck on the ground in Hawaii after suffering “irreversible” battery damage caused by overheating during its record-setting, five-day flight from Nagoya, Japan, project leaders said.

The solar-powered airplane, with Swiss pilot André Borschberg at the controls, landed safely in Hawaii on July 3, completing the longest leg of its around-the-world attempt and breaking the record for the world’s longest nonstop solo flight. The team’s euphoria quickly faded, however, when they realized the seriousness of Si2’s battery damage.

The airplane will remain on the ground in Hawaii for several weeks as crews work to repair or replace the damaged components. The Solar Impulse team said Si2 is parked in a hangar at Kalaeloa Airport on the island of Oahu.

The team is investigating new techniques for battery cooling management as preparations are made for the next marathon leg of the flight, from Hawaii to Phoenix. The expectation is to be able to complete the circumnavigation of the globe, but possibly on a much-delayed timeline that could stretch into next spring depending on weather.

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