Payerne-Lucerne, March 21st 2011 - Schindler, a global elevator and escalator provider, has decided to support Solar Impulse, the zero fuel airplane aiming to fly around the world propelled only by solar energy. Schindler will closely follow and support cutting edge technology in various disciplines. This partnership is an important commitment in Schindler's on-going investment in new technology for clean and sustainable mobility and a key milestone for the Solar Impulse project. After the successful first ever solar night flight in July 2010, Schindler’s arrival ensures the continuity of the adventure.
With clean and efficient products moving 1 billion people every day, Schindler is a leading global provider of elevators, escalators and moving walks. Schindler’s destination controller, machine room-less elevators, and steel-rope-less traction are industry benchmarks in innovation. The company’s very latest development, an elevator powered exclusively by solar energy, once again highlights Schindler’s revolutionary and forward looking spirit.
Schindler recognizes Solar Impulse as the most inspiring "clean" project as it sends an extremely powerful message to a global audience: indeed, only pioneering spirit will challenge society's common assumptions and behaviour. By walking on the very edge of currently available technological solutions, Solar Impulse opens a path for civilization to gradually shed its dependency on fossil energy.
"Solar Impulse is an excellent example of innovative sustainability and grass-root entrepreneurship", said Alfred N. Schindler, Chairman and CEO of the Schindler Group at the press conference while announcing the partnership. "This project is not only about saving and conserving energy, it's all about working smarter instead of working harder.
While staying in the air – day after day, Solar Impulse moves us beyond the idea of conventional belt tightening: it proves convincingly that one can tap into a virtually unlimited supply of solar energy. Solar Impulse is a unique platform where creativity meets audacity, technological expertise meets perseverance, vision meets discipline and, finally, where action converts a dream into reality."
2010 was a landmark year for Solar Impulse. The prototype HB-SIA achieved the historical feat of being the first and only airplane ever to fly day and night (26 hours) without any fuel, demonstrating to the world over the potential of existing technologies in terms of energy saving and renewable energy production. With Schindler coming on board at the outset of the construction of the second prototype HB-SIB, the project is on excellent path to meet its challenge of flying round the world in 2014 with no fuel.
André Borschberg Co-Founder and CEO of Solar Impulse see’s Schindler’s participation as an excellent opportunity for know-how exchange and further development.«With the success of the first prototype, we acquired much experience. Our technology choices were clearly validated. However to accomplish the round the world, we need to go even further in terms of technology and reliability and we look forward to benefiting from Schindler’s expertise. »
Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of Solar Impulse welcomes Schindler’s involvement as an important illustration of how forward looking companies are approaching sustainable development. «This is not simply a new partner of Solar Impulse, it is the proof that global companies are increasingly understanding the enormous potential of Cleantech in industrial and economic development, and in the creation of jobs.»
The Schindler Group, founded in 1874, is a leading global provider of elevators and escalators, transit-management with access technologies, and related services. Schindler actively supports sustainable urban development with safe, reliable and ecologically sound mobility solutions. Behind its success are 43,000 employees in more than 100 countries.
Solar Impulse HB-SIA, the first aircraft designed to fly night and day without fuel or polluting emissions, demonstrating the enormous potential of renewable energy. Seven years of intense hard work, calculations, simulations and tests by a 70-person team and 80 partners have gone into completing this totally new carbon fiber aircraft, with the wingspan of an Airbus A340 (63.4m) and the weight of an average family car (1600 kg).
Never before has such a large and lightweight aircraft been built. Nearly 12 000 solar cells, integrated into the wing, feed renewable energy to the four electric motors with a maximum power of 10 HP each, and by day also charge the lithium-polymer batteries (400 kg) which enable the aircraft to fly at night. The Solar Impulse project is supported, by among others: Main Partners Solvay, Omega, Deutsche Bank and Schindler; Official Partner, Bayer Material Science; EPFL, Official Scientific Adviser; Altran, Engineering Partner; and Dassault-Aviation, Aeronautical Adviser.