Energy, Vol.183, 1089-1103, 2019
Analysis of attitude planning and energy balance of stratospheric airship
Solar energy is an essential energy source collected by photovoltaic (PV) cells for long-endurance stratospheric airships. Attitude control is crucial for the energy production of the PV array attached to the airship hull. This study was conducted to analyze the energy balance of stratospheric airships with attitude planning. A solar radiation and PV array model is proposed, then a steerable attitude strategy is established considering the roll, pitch, and yaw control of the PV array. The energy balance of the model is analyzed under an attitude planning scheme based on an actual airship design. The daily net energy of the airship is calculated according to monthly wind data of various latitudes. The influence on the net energy considering the conversion efficiency of PV cells and specific density of the energy stored system (ESS) is also analyzed. The results shows that attitude planning has a significant effect on both the energy production and wind resistance of the airship. The energy balance of the airship is markedly improved when PV conversion efficiency is high and ESS energy capacity is large. The results presented here may prove valuable for future stratospheric airship applications. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.