Sun Chaser

Pioneering spirit begins with you because, at ABB, you can inspire others with world-changing ideas.

I first became interested in solar power and renewable energy as a student, when I helped develop a solar-powered charging station for mobile phones. Not even two years later, I’m at the heart of one of the most exciting projects ever: Solar Impulse. As the solar-powered airplane attempts its first flight around the world without relying on fossil fuels, I’m responsible for the mobile hangar that can be folded and carried to a new location, then re-inflated. The structure helps to protect the whole plane, as well as the 17,000 solar cells on its surface. My job is to focus on the ground electrical system to ensure we always have adequate power supply to operate the hangar. At takeoff and landing, I also help with the handling of the plane, which has the wingspan of an airliner but only weighs as much as a car! I work to make sure nothing is damaged as we transport the plane to and from the hangar. 

While the project is of course a very big engineering story – a plane made mostly of carbon fiber, solar cells powering an efficient direct current motor – it also sends a message. If we can build a solar airplane and fly it around the world using only solar power, why not apply it to other areas? Renewable energy is not science fiction because it’s here, right now.

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To be part of Solar Impulse was the chance of a lifetime, and I didn’t hesitate for a minute.

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Design & Engineering
Hawaii, USA

Following the path of the game-changing solar-powered airplane    

Tamara joined ABB as an engineer for medium-voltage drives in 2014. Several months into the job, she was selected to be a ground crew engineer for the very first round-the-world flight attempt of Solar Impulse. Tamara is responsible for the mobile hangar and contact with ABB’s global network for additional technical, mechanical and logistical support along the way. When she is not following the path of the game-changing solar-powered airplane, Tamara can be found working hands-on with the industrial drives that increase energy efficiency in factories and plants.

A better world begins with you

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