After several months of designing and testing, it's now time to get Solar Impulse back on its feet!
To avoid the batteries overheating again, their engineers have upgraded the whole battery system and integrated a cooling system. Solar Impulse has been hangared in Hawaii since July because its batteries overheated during the 5-day and night record breaking flight from Nagoya (Japan). Now what? The plan was to stay in Hawaii until April 2016. Why wait until spring? Because the days are longer, which means more daylight hours to recharge the batteries during flight periods.
Let's take a look at how and when the repair work will take place to get the plane ready for part 2 of the round the world tour.
Summarized by Solar Impulse blog:
1. The key components, the batteries, have been produced by our supplier Kokam, and are now on their way to Germany to be tested, assembled, and placed in their boxes. They are similar to the former ones.
2. In parallel, the battery containers, are being built and undergoing shock testing in Dübendorf, Switzerland. They will be ready at the end of November, and the batteries will thus be encapsulated in December. It can be controlled from the cockpit and includes a cooling and backup system. In case the cooling system breaks down, the backup one steps in and allows the pilot to control the opening so that it doesn't stay completely open, which would cause freezing, or closed, leading to another overheating scenario.
3. The last level is the engine housing (or gondola), which shelters both battery and engine, seeing as the former powers the latter at night. A few adjustments concerning the electronics have been made and an air vent has been added to let air flow into the battery's cooling system.
Be ready, cause the show must go on!