Apr 142010
 
Jetstream, Rossby Waves, N hemisphere.
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Could a solar-powered dirigible be the cargo ship of our peak-oil, carbon-constrained future?

If the inventor of the patent pending  High Speed Solar Airship is correct, the future of long haul cargo combines solar powered transmission married to centuries-old dirigible.

Could a solar-powered dirigible be the cargo ship of our peak-oil, carbon-constrained future? If the inventor of the patent pending  High Speed Solar Airship is correct, the future of long haul cargo combines solar powered transmission married to centuries-old dirigible technology.

Like the old blimp, a gas envelope lifts the airship from sea level to its cruising altitude. Unlike the old blimp, this new solar blimp would cruise at a much higher altitude: at 30,000 feet.

The HSSA would be powered by 24,000 square feet of thin-film  solar cells in an integrated application on top of the balloon – for 62.7 KW of rated power. However,  that rating would be if it was on earth.

Because of the altitude, there would also be a 30% efficiency boost of the solar power once aloft, just from the freezing cold at that altitude. In addition, because the height is well above cloud levels; sunlight is unobstructed. This would provide sun for well over the maximum earthbound solar access of up to 8 hours a day.

Thinner air at that height also means faster speeds.The 320 foot long airship could reach daytime speeds of 182 MPH utilizing a 96 MPH average Jet Stream wind speed, and even continue flying at night with a speed of 165 MPH, carrying 60 tons of cargo, and 2 million cubic feet of helium.

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  One Response to “Could Solar Blimps Haul Cargo at 30,000 Feet?”

  1. ah – good thinking innovation toronto – talk about a company in utah, u.s. of a.

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