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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Xiongfeng Zhu, Zheng Guo, Zhongxi Hou, Xianzhong Gao and Juntao Zhang

The purpose of this study is to present a methodology for parameters’ sensitivity analysis of solar-powered airplanes.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to present a methodology for parameters’ sensitivity analysis of solar-powered airplanes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focuses on a preliminary design and parameters’ relations of a heavier-than-air, solar-powered, high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle. The methodology is founded on the balance of energy production and requirement. An analytic expression with four generalized parameters is derived to determine the airplane flying on the specific altitude. The four generalized parameters’ sensitivities on altitude are then analyzed. Finally, to demonstrate the methodology, a case study is given on the parameters’ sensitivity analysis of a prototype solar-powered airplane.

Findings

When using the presented methodology, the nighttime duration and the energy density of batteries are more sensitive on flight altitude of the prototype airplane.

Practical implications

It is not easy to design a solar-powered airplane to realize high-attitude and long-endurance flight. For the current state-of-art, it is a way to figure out the most critical parameters which need prior consideration and immediate development.

Originality/value

This paper provides an analytical methodology for analyzing the parameters’ sensitivities of solar-powered airplanes, which can benefit the preliminary design of a solar-powered airplane.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, vol. 88 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2012

Robert Bogue

The purpose of this paper is to review the technology and applications of solarpowered sensors.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the technology and applications of solarpowered sensors.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a short introduction, this paper first considers photovoltaic technology and then describes a selection of solarpowered sensors and their applications.

Findings

It is shown that solarpowered sensors may be used as nodes in wireless sensor networks and also as stand‐alone devices. They offer a number of key operational and economic benefits and find applications in such diverse fields as structural and environmental monitoring, traffic management, weather forecasting, agriculture, process control, gas detection, satellite remote sensing and healthcare.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates the important role that solarpowered sensors and systems play in a wide range of applications and industries.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2019

Eralp Sener, Irem Turk, Isil Yazar and Tahir Hikmet Karakoç

The aviation industry has started environment friendly and also conventional energy independent alternative energy dependent designs to reduce negative impacts on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aviation industry has started environment friendly and also conventional energy independent alternative energy dependent designs to reduce negative impacts on the nature and to maintain its future activities in a clear, renewable and sustainable way. One possible solution proposed is solar energy. Solar-powered aerial vehicles are seen as key solutions to reduce global warming effects. This study aims to simulate a mathematical model of a solar powered DC motor of an UAV on MATLAB/Simulink environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) is a critical term in photovoltaic (PV) array systems to provide the maximum power output to the related systems under certain conditions. In this paper, one of the popular MPPT techniques, “Incremental Conductance”, is simulated with solar-powered DC motor for an UAV design on MATLAB/Simulink.

Findings

The cascade structure (PV cell, MPPT, buck converter and DC motor models) is simulated and tested under various irradiance values, and results are compared to the DC motor technical data. As a result of that, mathematical model simulation results are overlapped with motor technical reference values in spite of irradiance changes.

Practical implications

It is suggested to be used in real time applications for future developments.

Originality/value

Different from other solar-powered DC motor literature works, a solar-powered DC motor mathematical model of an UAV is designed and simulated on MATLAB/Simulink environment. To adjust the maximum power output at the solar cell, incremental conductance MPPT technique is preferred and a buck converter structure is connected between MPPT and DC motor mathematical model. It is suggested to be used in solar-powered UAV designs for future developments.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 92 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 31 January 2020

Vikas Kumar, Amanjot Singh Syan, Amanpreet Kaur and Bikramjit Singh Hundal

This study aims to examine the farmers’ awareness level and explores the factors, which may influence their adoption intention regarding solar powered pumps.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the farmers’ awareness level and explores the factors, which may influence their adoption intention regarding solar powered pumps.

Design/methodology/approach

The study consist of a sample of 510 respondents selected from the rural region of Punjab (India) by using convenience sampling. Descriptive analysis, exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and multiple regression analysis techniques have been used for the analytical purpose.

Findings

The study reveals that dimensions such as perceived benefit, perceived compatibility and government incentives have a significant impact on intention to use solar powered pumps, whereas high investment cost and lack of awareness regarding government subsidies are the main reason for non-adoption of the same.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size has been selected on the basis of convenience sampling and has been taken from the rural area, which may affect its generalizability.

Practical implications

The present research is expected to be useful for the manufacturers, regulators, customers, commercial banks, product and service providers, and other environmental institutions.

Originality/value

The study has acknowledged various intentional factors, which influence the adoption decision of solar powered pumps. Therefore, the present study will be useful to formulate action plans to improve the environmental quality.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Ajay Kumar Pathania, Bindiya Goyal and Jagdish Raj Saini

The purpose of this paper is to locate determinants of the diffusion process of solar energy and examine the relationship between variables affecting diffusion and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to locate determinants of the diffusion process of solar energy and examine the relationship between variables affecting diffusion and adoption solar of energy.

Design/methodology/approach

The data used in this research have been collected from users and non-users of solar energy products in Punjab. A research model was used to test for factors of diffusion and intention to use solar energy products.

Findings

The survey results show that the majority of solar product users are aware of the difference between renewable and non-renewable sources of energy. Roger’s diffusion model containing five components, relative advantage, trialability, observability, complexity and compatibility, shows that relative advantage and trialability significantly influence user’s intention to use solar products. In order to increase adoption and usage of solar energy products, more consideration is required toward raising the reliability and utility of solar products. Demos and trials highly convince users toward solar products. Hence sellers of solar products should give effective trials to increase acceptance of solar products.

Originality/value

This work provides a clear focus which will allow the diffusion and adoption of solar energy product by providing guidance and aspiration as well as providing platform to solar energy manufacture and government for policy making and future decision.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 July 2019

Hoyon Hwang, Jaeyoung Cha and Jon Ahn

The purpose of this paper is to present the development of an optimal design framework for high altitude long endurance solar unmanned aerial vehicle. The proposed solar

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the development of an optimal design framework for high altitude long endurance solar unmanned aerial vehicle. The proposed solar aircraft design framework provides a simple method to design solar aircraft for users of all levels of experience.

Design/methodology/approach

This design framework consists of algorithms and user interfaces for the design of experiments, optimization and mission analysis that includes aerodynamics, performance, solar energy, weight and flight distances.

Findings

The proposed sizing method produces the optimal solar aircraft that yields the minimum weight and satisfies the constraints such as the power balance, the night time energy balance and the lift coefficient limit.

Research limitations/implications

The design conditions for the sizing process are given in terms of mission altitudes, flight dates, flight latitudes/longitudes and design factors for the aircraft configuration.

Practical implications

The framework environment is light and easily accessible as it is implemented using open programs without the use of any expensive commercial tools or in-house programs. In addition, this study presents a sizing method for solar aircraft as traditional sizing methods fail to reflect their unique features.

Social implications

Solar aircraft can be used in place of a satellite and introduce many advantages. The solar aircraft is much cheaper than the conventional satellite, which costs approximately $200-300m. It operates at a closer altitude to the ground and allows for a better visual inspection. It also provides greater flexibility of missions and covers a wider range of applications.

Originality/value

This study presents the implementation of a function that yields optimized flight performance under the given mission conditions, such as climb, cruise and descent for a solar aircraft.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 91 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2020

Chandan Parsad, Shashank Mittal and Raveesh Krishnankutty

Recent research on the energy system highlights the need for understanding the bandwidth of drivers and inhibitors of household investor's behaviour in rooftop PV (or…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent research on the energy system highlights the need for understanding the bandwidth of drivers and inhibitors of household investor's behaviour in rooftop PV (or photovoltaic power system) and to fit the broader socio-economic context in which they are deployed. However, apart from few exceptions, these newer perspectives have not been duly applied in the research on rooftop PV. This paper aims to fill this gap and to shed new light on rooftop PV investment decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study has been conducted with the primary data collected using two data sets of 237 households and 387 households of Indian southern state Kerala using survey-based questionnaire. The findings from first data set revealed that households considering the adoption of PV were likely influenced by six distinct factors, three motivators and three inhibitors. Second data set for multi-state analytic approach was proposed whereby the research model was tested using structural equation modelling (SEM). The outcomes of SEM were used as inputs for an artificial neural network (ANN) model for forecasting investor investment decision in in renewables. The ANN model was also used to rank the relative influence of significant predictors obtained from SEM.

Findings

In line with the risk–return framework, government subsidies act as primary motivator which helps in overcoming the initial risk of investment in the new technology. Further, low prices and low cost of maintenance are some of the financial motivators which may likely mitigate the long-term apprehension of returns and maintenance cost. Lastly, the strongest motivators of PV investment come from the environmental and financial motivator in the form of PV subsidies, which further solidifies the role of policy interventions in investment decision. The ANN model identified the technical barrier and knowledge and awareness factors play a significant role in forcasting the investor investing decision.

Practical implications

The study results will be useful for policymakers for framing strategies to attract and influence their investment in renewable energy.

Originality/value

Building upon behavioural finance and institutional theory, this paper posits that, in addition to a rational evaluation of the economics of the investment opportunities, various non-financial factors affect the household's decision to invest in renewables.

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2019

Sa'd Shannak and Malak Alnory

Solar as an energy source has a massive potential to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in Gulf Countries (GC). One attractive application of solar energy is solar-powered

Abstract

Purpose

Solar as an energy source has a massive potential to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in Gulf Countries (GC). One attractive application of solar energy is solar-powered desalination, which is a viable method to produce fresh water. The most significant factor determining the potential deployment of this application is economics.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, the classical economic analysis model has been modified to assess the penetration of solar technology to power desalination plants at different periods during the project lifetime. Furthermore, the environmental and financial values were combined to assess the incentive of powering desalination plants with solar energy in Saudi Arabia. Three systems of solar technologies accompanied with water desalination based on technical applicability were modeled and economically analyzed to understand the impact of various design and operation parameters.

Findings

This study shows that PV-RO is currently more competitive at both market and administrated prices in Saudi Arabia, followed by the MED-CSP system and finally CSP-RO system. CSP-RO system starts to generate positive surplus after 11 years, while the base case shows no positive surplus at all during the entire lifetime. Moreover, the same trend continues to hold with MED-CSP and PV-RO systems. The MED-CSP generates positive surplus after six years and PV-RO after five years only. On average, it takes eight years for a project running based on solar (CAPEX and OPEX) and desalination OPEX to generate positive cash surplus.

Originality/value

This paper discusses the debate about incentives for renewable energy in GC and the impact of coupling water production and solar generation. Given that there is no analytical framework built earlier, this paper provides an alternative methodology for policy analysis to understand the role of economies of scope to incentivize solar generation. In other words, the authors are investigating options to reduce the total cost of solar production as a result of increasing the number of different goods produced.

Details

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4620

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Sinan Keiyinci and Kadir Aydin

The endurance of small unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) is directly associated with the energy density of the propulsion system used. As the batteries commonly used in small…

Abstract

Purpose

The endurance of small unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) is directly associated with the energy density of the propulsion system used. As the batteries commonly used in small UAVs have a relatively low energy density, they are not sufficient for long-term endurance tasks. The purpose of this paper is to offer a solution to increase the endurance of a concept small UAV with combination of different power sources. The design, construction and ground tests of fuel cell-powered hybrid propulsion systems are presented in this paper.

Design/methodology/approach

The power requirements of a concept UAV were calculated according to aerodynamic calculations and then, hybrid propulsion system sources are determined. The hybrid system consists of a 100 W scale proton-exchange membrane (PEM) type fuel cell stack, lithium-polymer battery, solar cells and power management system (PMS). Subsequently, this hybrid power system was integrated with the new design of PMS and then series of ground tests were carried out.

Findings

This experimental study proved that it is theoretically possible to obtain an endurance of around 3 h for concept UAV with the proposed hybrid system.

Practical implications

The research study shows that fuel cell-based hybrid propulsion system with the proposed PMS can be widely used to obtain extended endurance in small UAVs.

Originality/value

A hybrid propulsion system with a novel PMS unit is proposed for small UAVs and the ground tests were implemented.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 93 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Damasen Ikwaba Paul and James Uhomoibhi

The purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss, in-depth, how solar electricity can be developed and used to tackle grid electricity-related problems in African…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss, in-depth, how solar electricity can be developed and used to tackle grid electricity-related problems in African countries suffering from unreliable and inadequate grid electricity.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses in depth the current status of grid electricity in Africa continent and suggested solar electricity as an alternative cost-effective method to the existing grid electricity problem in remote areas. An extensive analysis of the major contribution of solar electricity in various sectors such as economic, health, communication, social and environmental benefits is provided. The paper concludes with a discussion on how solar power generation can be developed.

Findings

The paper shows that in developed countries where ICT has been applied extensively, ICT offers increased opportunities for sustainable economic development and plays a critical role in rapid economic growth, productive capacity improvements, education, government, agriculture and international competitiveness enhancement. The paper has pointed out that ICT has yet to make significant impact in most African countries due to lack of reliable and adequate electricity. Solar electricity has been seen as the most cost-effective way of generating electricity, especially in remote rural areas, for ICT devices. For the widespread of solar power generation in Africa, various strategies have been identified which include training of qualified solar engineers and technicians, establishing PV markets and business modes, introduction of solar energy education in schools and universities, political leaders appreciating solar electricity as one of the major energy component, lowering initial cost of the PV technology, availability of finance mechanisms for rural communities, import tax exemption and African countries regarding rural electricity as one of the basic needs.

Practical implications

The paper shows that the problems of lack of qualified solar technicians and established PV markets and business modes (especially in remote areas), lack of solar energy education in schools have to be addressed before the benefits of ICT in Africa can be seen. Other issues include African countries appreciating solar electricity as one of the major energy component, lowering initial cost of the PV technology, availability of finance mechanisms for customers, import tax exemption and African countries regarding rural electricity as one of the basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. Overhaul of existing systems needs to take place in order to provide the means to deal with some of these issues.

Originality/value

Availability of reliable electrical energy remains crucial for development of ICT in rural African countries. Solar electricity is clearly one of the most promising prospects to the grid electricity problem in African countries because most African countries lie in the sunshine belt. The paper raises awareness about this in a unique way and suggests some novel measures about increasing the availability of solar systems for solar power generation. It is anticipated that the increases in solar power generation, especially in remote areas, will increase the use and application of ICT in various sectors.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

Keywords

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