Armadillo1
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Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:51 am

how much power it can produce? for common planes like 737 or 777?

I think Cessna Caravan the best size for electirc aircfart now, but even for big birds, what the most serious issue for this, after painting and liveries?
 
anshabhi
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:57 am

Making them survive winds at -50°C and 900kmph maybe?
 
Waterbomber2
Posts: 383
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:15 am

Not enough to justify the added weight and cost of the entire installation.
 
Armadillo1
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Posts: 411
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:16 am

common plexiglass?
it not need too much frame strength, just abrasive resistance
 
AZa346
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:55 am

What if the structure was actually made of solar cells, instead of them being applied over the metal/composite structure?
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:03 am

Just speculating, but FOD would also seem to be a perpetual issue with this.

But even more so, I'm betting the weight-to-benefit ratio isn't in its favor at this point in time.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
asdf
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:12 am

ask again in twenty years
for now no way to get considerable energie from them
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:14 am

Armadillo1 wrote:
aircfart

I know it’s a typo, but I think this word should be kept for future use...

V/F
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. —Bahá'u'lláh
 
planewasted
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:15 am

Solar cells can be made very thin and light. So I think it will happen eventually. But the technology is not mature yet.

MIT cell with a thickness of 1/50 of human hair, producing 6 W per gram (A quick calculation that might be wrong gave me that a jet engine produces about 20 W/g):
https://newatlas.com/lightest-thinnest- ... mit/42092/
 
tommy1808
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:20 am

asdf wrote:
ask again in twenty years
for now no way to get considerable energie from them


I'd guess that a 777 class aircraft with integrated thin film solar cells would have a peak performance of about 100 ~125KW.... so maybe worth 200 ~250 kg of JP on a 10 hour daylight flight. 500m2 of it could weigh than 100Kg.
Of course you carry those at night as well, so marginal at best. But could provide cooling on the ground as well.

Best regards
Thomas

Edit: with
planewasted wrote:
6W/g


it could be 20Kg-ish.
This Singature is a safe space......
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:36 am

tommy1808 wrote:
asdf wrote:
ask again in twenty years
for now no way to get considerable energie from them


I'd guess that a 777 class aircraft with integrated thin film solar cells would have a peak performance of about 100 ~125KW.... so maybe worth 200 ~250 kg of JP on a 10 hour daylight flight. 500m2 of it could weigh than 100Kg.
Of course you carry those at night as well, so marginal at best. But could provide cooling on the ground as well.

Best regards
Thomas

Edit: with
planewasted wrote:
6W/g


it could be 20Kg-ish.


I'll add that the extra 100kg would mean an extra 30kg or so fuel burn on that 10 hour flight.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
tommy1808
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:40 am

Starlionblue wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
asdf wrote:
ask again in twenty years
for now no way to get considerable energie from them


I'd guess that a 777 class aircraft with integrated thin film solar cells would have a peak performance of about 100 ~125KW.... so maybe worth 200 ~250 kg of JP on a 10 hour daylight flight. 500m2 of it could weigh than 100Kg.
Of course you carry those at night as well, so marginal at best. But could provide cooling on the ground as well.

Best regards
Thomas

Edit: with
planewasted wrote:
6W/g


it could be 20Kg-ish.


I'll add that the extra 100kg would mean an extra 30kg or so fuel burn on that 10 hour flight.


yup... much better it is just 20Kg. Of course you also need transformers and probably some extra cabling as well....

If they work essentially maintenance free there may be a case, if not, there is not.

best regards
Thomas
This Singature is a safe space......
 
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FredrikHAD
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:48 am

The problem with electric jets is the propulsion itself. Propellers can pretty easily be powered with electric motors, but rushing air through a turbine at supersonic speeds (which you need in order to get to jet airliner speeds) is not very easily done.

/Fredrik
 
planewasted
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:40 am

FredrikHAD wrote:
The problem with electric jets is the propulsion itself. Propellers can pretty easily be powered with electric motors, but rushing air through a turbine at supersonic speeds (which you need in order to get to jet airliner speeds) is not very easily done.

/Fredrik

Most of the thrust on a commercial jet engine is coming from the fan. Is it really difficult to spin with magnetic fields? Torque is torque.
You also don't need to deal with the high temperatures of a combustion engine. Combustion get more efficient at high temperatures so you can't get away from it. With electric drive you can just keep the engine as cool as possible and not need as exotic materials.

But now we are going a bit off topic. If we are to put solar cells on a plane I think it smarter to use them for the electrical systems and offloading the generators. The generators does not have perfect efficiency so we will gain even more then!
 
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keesje
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:40 am

It would make nice PR for the press and passengers, in a symbolic way. We are taking steps for the environment, balancing with sustainable energy.

98% can't calculate the nett result would be negative / laughable small. It's all about perceptions / making money. People feel guilty today flying.

And they should :flamed: So commercial opportunity for some environmental driven non-$ense to buy some feel good.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Armadillo1
Topic Author
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:45 am

as i sayd, for 777 clas craft in will be auxilary power, but still save fuel.
electric propulsion have sense for Cessna Caravan. area may be enough for cruise and batteries charged for take off
 
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enilria
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:34 am

asdf wrote:
ask again in twenty years
for now no way to get considerable energie from them

Or 100
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:35 am

asdf wrote:
ask again in twenty years
for now no way to get considerable energie from them


There won't be in twenty years, either. Solar installations of hundred of hectares angled to present to the sun can yield significant output, but solar cells on non-movable, upward-facing surfaces of the wing just aren't going to yield much power even as solar cell efficiency approached 100%:

At the upper reaches of our atmosphere, the energy density of solar radiation is approximately 1,368 W/m2 (watts per square meter). At the Earth's surface, the energy density is reduced to approximately 1,000 W/m2 for a surface perpendicular to the Sun's rays at sea level on a clear day.

https://ag.tennessee.edu/solar/Pages/Wh ... nergy.aspx
 
DFW17L
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:41 pm

Can you say hail damage?
 
AirFiero
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:54 pm

Ha anyone taken into account that airliners use some of the compressed air for pressurization and the heat for heating the cabin and wing an engine inlet deicing? On an electric plane, you will need to use electric power for compressing air, cabin heating and deicing in absence of jet engine heat.
 
strfyr51
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:07 pm

AirFiero wrote:
Ha anyone taken into account that airliners use some of the compressed air for pressurization and the heat for heating the cabin and wing an engine inlet deicing? On an electric plane, you will need to use electric power for compressing air, cabin heating and deicing in absence of jet engine heat.

the 787 is nearly all electric as it HAS no pneumatic bleed from the engines. for Air conditioning or pressurization.
 
AirFiero
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:54 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
AirFiero wrote:
Ha anyone taken into account that airliners use some of the compressed air for pressurization and the heat for heating the cabin and wing an engine inlet deicing? On an electric plane, you will need to use electric power for compressing air, cabin heating and deicing in absence of jet engine heat.

the 787 is nearly all electric as it HAS no pneumatic bleed from the engines. for Air conditioning or pressurization.


But it has two jet engines for generating electricity. An electric airplane will need all the power to run the engines *plus* the other things.
 
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n901wa
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:29 pm

I can see a few issues. Like DFW17L I would worry about Hail strikes, but also Lightning Strikes. If using the panel as skin, how will the panel be replaced if damaged? from what I have seen in Solar Panels, it doesn't look like you could put fasteners thru it. If you use it on top of skin, you have to worry about delam and being able to inspect the area under it during routine MTC, and if it does delam how to remove it without destroying the surface under it. I think it might be cool, and wonder why its not on Electric Autos currently?
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:41 am

AirFiero wrote:
Ha anyone taken into account that airliners use some of the compressed air for pressurization and the heat for heating the cabin and wing an engine inlet deicing? On an electric plane, you will need to use electric power for compressing air, cabin heating and deicing in absence of jet engine heat.


All that is doable electrically , as evidenced by the 787. However, solar panels aren't even close to generating enough power.

Back of the envelope maths by someone who is not good at electrics follows:
- The A350 has four engine driven generators, each putting out 100kVA at 230V. In total, I think that's well north of 300 kilowatts.
- One 150x100cm solar panel produces 250-300 watts. Less than one hundreth of the aircraft number.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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FredrikHAD
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:04 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
AirFiero wrote:
Ha anyone taken into account that airliners use some of the compressed air for pressurization and the heat for heating the cabin and wing an engine inlet deicing? On an electric plane, you will need to use electric power for compressing air, cabin heating and deicing in absence of jet engine heat.


All that is doable electrically , as evidenced by the 787. However, solar panels aren't even close to generating enough power.

Back of the envelope maths by someone who is not good at electrics follows:
- The A350 has four engine driven generators, each putting out 100kVA at 230V. In total, I think that's well north of 300 kilowatts.
- One 150x100cm solar panel produces 250-300 watts. Less than one hundreth of the aircraft number.

Just to spread some light on the kVA issue, it is the AC equivalent to kW in DC. We don’t use kW for AC since you can have inductive and capacitive loads that skew the phase of the load. To make a complicated issue sound easy, one could say that some loads (like electric motors) draw their current slightly after the voltage rises; the current is kind of late to the party all the time. This causes some weird phenomena compared to DC and therefore we use another unit for it. 2 x 100 kVA can never exceed 200 kW, but may equal it (if using only resistive loads).

Solar energy is about 1350 W/m2 tops. You won’t get more than that, even with 100% efficient solar panels. An A350 has some 800 m2 surface (wing 440, fuselage 360). That gives slightly above 1 MW sun power exposure. A PW127M that powers an ATR 72 has 2051 W shaft power. Under ideal conditions with imaginary 100% efficient cells, an A350 completely covered with them would produce enough electricity to barely keep an ATR flying level at low speed. There simply isn’t enough power in the sun’s rays to keep an airliner flying.

/Fredrik
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:44 pm

Add in the system safety aspect of having to have redundancy in all of this and it really isn't practical.
 
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FredrikHAD
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:01 am

trpmb6 wrote:
Add in the system safety aspect of having to have redundancy in all of this and it really isn't practical.

As stated, there’s not enough energy ro go around, but the redundancy would not be an issue, that’s the beauty with electric systems. You can just put them in parallell with protection circuits and you have a system that will only lose a fraction of its’ capacity if one unit fails. If you have 10 individual panels, you lose 1/10th of the capacity. Adding capacity is just as easy.

/Fredrik
 
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dlednicer
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Re: Solar batteries on airliner skin

Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:49 pm

The fuselage skin has to be accessible for periodic inspections. Every time someone does a skin inspection, they would have to peel them off.

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