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Solar Electric Powered Aircraft



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 30th 05, 04:56 PM
Larry Dighera
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Default Solar Electric Powered Aircraft


Could this be the future?


Sunseeker http://solar-flight.com/

The Solair 2 http://www.solair.de/timer.htm is a second generation
solar electric powered aircraft. Here are the specification (in
German): http://www.solair.de/frame.htm
English language information is he
http://www.delago.de/solair/EHome.htm
Builders other projects:
http://solar-flight.com/davespics/dedication.htm


Zephyr 3, a solar-powered propeller-driven vehicle, is set to fly to
132,000 feet http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3016082.stm

Sanswire Networks stratellite:
http://www.economist.com/science/tq/...ory_id=3423026


AeroVironment's Helios:
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Pho...ios/index.html
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Education/E...aii/index.html
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/r...st/helios.html
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/n...ews/index.html
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/n...002/02-24.html


A history of solar powered aircraft is he
http://www.solarflugzeuge.de/


Ads
  #2  
Old March 30th 05, 05:22 PM
Shawn
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Default

Larry Dighera wrote:
Could this be the future?

Looks pricey. After quick search on the web flexible solar cells cost
about $5/watt or more. 15,000 watts worth of power (20 hp) is gonna
cost, and that's basicly the cost of the "fuel". If you're burning say
4 gallons/hour at $3/gallon the $75,000 worth of solar cells will cost
the same as 6000+ hours of flight. Plus, that's a lot of amps and volts
running around.

Shawn
  #3  
Old March 30th 05, 06:11 PM
Larry Dighera
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Default

On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 09:22:01 -0700, Shawn
[email protected] wrote in
::

Larry Dighera wrote:
Could this be the future?

Looks pricey.


Currently it is. But with a growth rate of 30% per year, the
photovoltaic industry is being targeted by venture capitalists:
http://www.nanosolar.com/cache/nyt.htm . With the rising cost of oil,
and the influx of capital, the future is looking even brighter for
solar power. If the volume of photovoltaic production continues to
increase as projected, the cost should fall. And technological
advancements would help push prices down too.

After quick search on the web flexible solar cells cost
about $5/watt or more. 15,000 watts worth of power (20 hp) is gonna
cost, and that's basicly the cost of the "fuel". If you're burning say
4 gallons/hour at $3/gallon the $75,000 worth of solar cells will cost
the same as 6000+ hours of flight. Plus, that's a lot of amps and volts
running around.

Shawn



This quote confirms your calculations:

http://www.nanosolar.com/cache/Forbes.htm
Manufacturers, led by Japanese companies such as Sharp, are
convinced that within seven years traditional solar-cell
technology
will deliver power as cheaply and conveniently as steam turbines.
The economics of solar, once derided as hippie wishful thinking,
are getting pretty compelling. "When I started in the early 1970s,
the going price for solar modules was about $200 per watt,"
recalls Arthur Rudin, director of engineering for Sharp's solar
systems division in Huntington Beach, Calif. "Today the average
price for solar modules is about $5 a watt."


However there appears to be some hope of reducing the cost:

In March 2002 Alivisatos put his reputation--and his venture
capitalists' money--where his mouth is, turning over much of his
research to a Palo Alto firm called Nanosys. The company has
amassed $75 million and is devoting much effort to figuring out
how to embed nanofilaments of semiconductors in cheap, bendable
plastic sheets. Nanosys' goals: 10% efficiency, $1 per watt.
http://www.nanosolar.com/


http://www.nanosolar.com/cache/nyt.htm
A new generation of solar cells based on lightweight conductive
plastics could cost as little as $40 a square meter, compared with
$400 for the silicon panels that have been used since the 1970's.
These so-called organic solar cells could make solar a viable
option even without government subsidies, experts say.


  #4  
Old March 30th 05, 07:17 PM
F.L. Whiteley
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Larry Dighera" wrote in message
...
On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 09:22:01 -0700, Shawn
[email protected] wrote in
::

Larry Dighera wrote:
Could this be the future?

Looks pricey.


Currently it is. But with a growth rate of 30% per year, the
photovoltaic industry is being targeted by venture capitalists:
http://www.nanosolar.com/cache/nyt.htm . With the rising cost of oil,
and the influx of capital, the future is looking even brighter for
solar power. If the volume of photovoltaic production continues to
increase as projected, the cost should fall. And technological
advancements would help push prices down too.

After quick search on the web flexible solar cells cost
about $5/watt or more. 15,000 watts worth of power (20 hp) is gonna
cost, and that's basicly the cost of the "fuel". If you're burning say
4 gallons/hour at $3/gallon the $75,000 worth of solar cells will cost
the same as 6000+ hours of flight. Plus, that's a lot of amps and volts
running around.

Shawn



This quote confirms your calculations:

http://www.nanosolar.com/cache/Forbes.htm
Manufacturers, led by Japanese companies such as Sharp, are
convinced that within seven years traditional solar-cell
technology
will deliver power as cheaply and conveniently as steam turbines.
The economics of solar, once derided as hippie wishful thinking,
are getting pretty compelling. "When I started in the early 1970s,
the going price for solar modules was about $200 per watt,"
recalls Arthur Rudin, director of engineering for Sharp's solar
systems division in Huntington Beach, Calif. "Today the average
price for solar modules is about $5 a watt."


However there appears to be some hope of reducing the cost:

In March 2002 Alivisatos put his reputation--and his venture
capitalists' money--where his mouth is, turning over much of his
research to a Palo Alto firm called Nanosys. The company has
amassed $75 million and is devoting much effort to figuring out
how to embed nanofilaments of semiconductors in cheap, bendable
plastic sheets. Nanosys' goals: 10% efficiency, $1 per watt.
http://www.nanosolar.com/


http://www.nanosolar.com/cache/nyt.htm
A new generation of solar cells based on lightweight conductive
plastics could cost as little as $40 a square meter, compared with
$400 for the silicon panels that have been used since the 1970's.
These so-called organic solar cells could make solar a viable
option even without government subsidies, experts say.

Interesting stuff.

http://www.daystartech.com/govrelease.htm

Frank


  #5  
Old March 30th 05, 08:26 PM
Corky Scott
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Default

On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 15:56:35 GMT, Larry Dighera
wrote:


Could this be the future?


Sunseeker http://solar-flight.com/


I read a really depressing article about the future of oil several
days ago. There does not appear to be any viable substitute for oil
based energy at this time or on the horizon, not at the colossal
amounts we consume per day now anyway.

Corky Scott



  #6  
Old March 30th 05, 10:03 PM
Malcolm Austin
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Default

I do hope your only talking about the USA. The rest of us are rather better
at using our fuel than the oversize/overused States ;-0

I have enough wind generators here in the North of England to be sure
that we are "green" and not just with our wellies. (rubber water proof
boots to the rest of the world!)

Malcolm...

"Corky Scott" wrote in message
news
On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 15:56:35 GMT, Larry Dighera
wrote:


Could this be the future?


Sunseeker http://solar-flight.com/


I read a really depressing article about the future of oil several
days ago. There does not appear to be any viable substitute for oil
based energy at this time or on the horizon, not at the colossal
amounts we consume per day now anyway.

Corky Scott





  #7  
Old March 30th 05, 10:09 PM
Larry Dighera
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Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 11:17:02 -0700, "F.L. Whiteley"
wrote in
::

Interesting stuff.

http://www.daystartech.com/govrelease.htm



Yes. Interesting indeed.


From the DayStar Technologies, Inc. web site:

Ultra Lightweight Thin Film PV for Orbital & Airborne Vehicles

DayStar has developed expertise and know-how in fabricating its
high-efficiency CIGS thin-film solar cells on very lightweight
metal foils. The target of this effort is to surpass the 1000 W/kg
specific power benchmark (at the cell level). The Company has
presently achieved a 1400 W/kg specific power on small-area cells,
and 1000 W/kg on product-scale (24-cm2) cells. The CIGS cell
technology is presently unique in being able to meet this specific
power benchmark and surpass the 200 W/m2 performance benchmark
that is otherwise unattainable by other thin-film technologies.

DayStar is presently investigating this technology under a Phase
II SBIR from the Department of Defense, administered by NASA /
Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH. The target development
focus for the Phase II contract is to develop manufacturing
technology for the cell production process.


So it would appear that light weight photovoltaic technology is
beginning to move forward.

There's something to be said for high efficiency cells too:
http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/...r_030725s.html
  #8  
Old March 30th 05, 10:16 PM
Larry Dighera
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 14:26:59 -0500, Corky Scott
wrote in
::

There does not appear to be any viable substitute for oil
based energy at this time or on the horizon, not at the colossal
amounts we consume per day now anyway.


Don't forget about coal. There's a lot of that.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/infosheets/coalreserves.htm
Worldwide, coal is the most abundant of the fossil fuels, and its
reserves are also the most widely distributed. Estimates of the
world's total recoverable reserves of coal in 2002 were about
1,081 billion sort tons. The resulting ratio of coal reserves to
production exceeds 200 years, meaning that at current rates of
production (and no change in reserves), coal reserves could in
theory last for another two centuries.

More he
http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/coal/reserves/front-1.html
http://www.worldenergy.org/wec-geis/.../coal/coal.asp

  #9  
Old March 30th 05, 10:26 PM
Bob Kuykendall
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Posts: n/a
Default

I'm with Don Lancaster (http://www.tinaja.com) on this one: Current and
forseeable PV technology is a net energy sink. I'll pay some attention
to these Nanosolar guys as soon as they start making their PV panel
materials in factories that are powered by their own PV panels.

Bob K.
http://www.hpaircraft.com

  #10  
Old March 31st 05, 12:01 AM
Matt Barrow
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Corky Scott" wrote in message
news

I read a really depressing article about the future of oil several
days ago. There does not appear to be any viable substitute for oil
based energy at this time or on the horizon, not at the colossal
amounts we consume per day now anyway.


Considering that we have anywhere from 40 to 200 years of known reserves,
and that breakthroughs happen with considerable frequency, I'd say whoever
wrote the article was pushing an agenda. The history of mankind has been
laced with such hysterics.


--
Matt
---------------------
Matthew W. Barrow
Site-Fill Homes, LLC.
Montrose, CO


 




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