Solar Energy Generation Model for High Altitude Long Endurance Platforms

University essay from KTH/Flygdynamik

Author: Mathilde Brizon; [2015]

Keywords: ;


For designing and evaluating new concepts for HALE platforms, the energy provided by solar cells is a key factor. The purpose of this thesis is to model the electrical power which can be harnessed by such a platform along any flight trajectory for different aircraft designs. At first, a model of the solar irradiance received at high altitude will be performed using the solar irradiance models already existing for ground level applications as a basis. A calculation of the efficiency of the energy generation will be performed taking into account each solar panel’s position as well as shadows casted by the aircraft’s structure. The evaluated set of trajectories allows a stationary positioning of a hale platform with varying wind conditions, time of day and latitude for an exemplary aircraft configuration. The qualitative effects of specific parameter changes on the harnessed solar energy is discussed as well as the fidelity of the energy generation model results.

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