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SolarStratos (prototype pictured) aims to reach the stratosphere more than 80,000 feet above Earth using SunPower solar technology /SunPower

SunPower has joined the “Mission SolarStratos” expedition as the exclusive solar cell provider for its aircraft.

Known as one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable energy companies headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley, SunPower has a pioneering legacy of powering unique solar projects.

Within the next two years, SolarStratos is expected to be the first solar-powered plane to soar above the Earth’s troposphere and into the stratosphere – flying twice as high as a commercial airliner’s typical cruising altitude – without a drop of fossil fuel.

SunPower® Maxeon® solar cells were selected for SolarStratos aircrafts because they are highly efficient, durable, lightweight, and about as thin as a human hair.

On the next generation SolarStratos plane, SunPower’s 24-percent efficient cells will be incorporated into the wings and horizontal stabilizer to power an electrical engine and charge a 20-kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery for energy supply when the sun is out of sight.

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