ecological flying, using solar panels - from france

First flight of Nephelios. Image: Projet Sol'R
First flight of Nephelios. Image: Projet Sol’R

A group of French engineering and technical students and recent graduates have devised for themselves a challenge - to fly without consuming fuel, without polluting. Their solution, the Projet Sol’R, is a solar panel-powered helium dirigable, called Nephelios.

The flexible solar panels on the upper surface of the airship feed an electric motor at the rear of the gondola which turns two large two-blade propellors.

The pilot and the two propellors. Image: Projet SolíR
The pilot and the two propellors. Image: Projet Sol’R

Having shown the blimp at the Salon du Bourget, preparations are underway for a flight across the Channel.

The flexible solar panels. Image: Projet Sol’R
The flexible solar panels. Image: Projet Sol’R

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related material
photovoltaics (solar cells)
non-pv (photovoltaic) solar technology

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/lite012010.php#solar_panel_blimp_020710