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Conceptual Design Analysis for an Aircraft Auxiliary Photovoltaic System


Conceptual Design Analysis for an Aircraft Auxiliary Photovoltaic System

Murugesan, Ezhil Shakti (2018) Conceptual Design Analysis for an Aircraft Auxiliary Photovoltaic System. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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At present, a priority for the aviation industry is to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions from air transport. One
of the axes to reduce aviation emission is the development of novel technologies for aircraft systems.
The presented research contributes to the development of a photovoltaic (PV) system for aircraft
that converts the available solar energy into electrical energy without producing emissions. Today,
there is limited research made to implement photovoltaics in the commercial aviation industry. This
thesis develops an analysis capability for the conceptual design of aircraft featuring a PV system.
Three research questions are addressed: (1) which are the best aircraft surfaces for the installation of
solar panels? (2) which aircraft configurations suit best the implementation of a PV system?
and (3) how much power yield is achievable, considering geometrical constraints and shading on
complex surfaces? The methodology consists of three steps. First, a parametric model is developed
to estimate usable surfaces on aircraft wing, tail and fuselage to install PV panels, using empirical
aircraft geometry analysis, including design constraints such as control surfaces, windows, wing
position and other. Secondly, a commercial software tool Ecotect® is used to analyze the shading
on complex surfaces. The resulting data is used to obtain a more realistic power yield estimation of
PV panels and to develop additional guidelines for the optimal placement of PV panels on aircraft
surfaces. In a third step, the available solar radiation for various categories of aircraft is determined,
leading to the identification of most promising aircraft types for PV panel installation. Finally, a
case study is performed to evaluate the potential fuel savings for an aircraft equipped with a PV
panel system within a Multidisciplinary Aircraft Design (MAD) environment. The results show
that regional aircraft, medium-sized business jets, and general aviation aircraft are the most suitable
platforms for the implementation of PV system. The study concludes that the use of a PV system as a
supplemental power source to the aircraft systems can have viable results from the standpoint of fuel
savings and operational costs. The developed parametric photovoltaic system sizing tool provides
insight to solar panel manufacturers and the aviation industry for how to bring the innovative concept
to an application and to support future, sustainable aviation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Murugesan, Ezhil Shakti
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A. Sc.
Program:Mechanical Engineering
Date:20 December 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Liscouët-Hanke, Susan
Keywords:Auxiliary Photovoltaic System, Sustainable Aviation, Solar Airplane, Conceptual Design Analysis
ID Code:984810
Deposited By: Ezhil Shakti Murugesan
Deposited On:06 Feb 2020 03:12
Last Modified:06 Feb 2020 03:12
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