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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 380708, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/380708
Research Article

Analysis of the Hybrid Power System for High-Altitude Unmanned Aircraft

School of Aeronautic Science and Technology, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China

Received 23 February 2015; Accepted 3 June 2015

Academic Editor: Santiago Garcia-Granda

Copyright © 2015 Kangwen Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The application of single solar array on high-altitude unmanned aircraft will waste energy because of its low conversion efficiency. Furthermore, since its energy utilization is limited, the surface temperature of solar array will rise to 70°C due to the waste solar energy, thus reducing the electrical performance of the solar array. In order to reuse the energy converted into heat by solar array, a hybrid power system is presented in this paper. In the hybrid power system, a new electricity-generating method is adopted to spread the photovoltaic cell on the wing surface and arrange photothermal power in the wing box section. Because the temperature on the back of photovoltaic cell is high, it can be used as the high-temperature heat source. The lower wing surface can be a low-temperature cold source. A high-altitude unmanned aircraft was used to analyze the performances of pure solar-powered aircraft and hybrid powered aircraft. The analysis result showed that the hybrid system could reduce the area of wing by 19% and that high-altitude unmanned aircraft with a 35 m or less wingspan could raise the utilization rate of solar energy per unit area after adopting the hybrid power system.