Zero-emission solar-powered blimp aims to cross the English Channel
Jul 08, 2009 14:10
Zero-emission blimp powered by on-board photovoltaic panels.
The green wave created by the Solar Impulse solar/electric aircraft hasn’t quite ended yet, and a team of Fresh engineers have already started gaining some more attention, not with a solar powered aircraft to fly around the globe, but a solar-powered airship with which they hope to take on the English Channel. Project Sol’R has unveiled a solar-powered blimp, dubbed Nephelios, which is made from an aluminum frame covered in an outer wrap made from nylon and polyethylene.
The 22m long blimp carries semi-flexible solar cells that are capable of generating up to 2.4KW of green electrical power. The helium-filled blimp is powered by a small motor at present, which generates enough energy to fuel two propellers to push the blimp at a speed of about 25mph.
The initial tests of the blimp will be conducted in France, and if all goes well the blimp could be used to take on the English Channel by the end of the summer.
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