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Thermal performance of high-altitude solar powered scientific balloon

Zhu, Weiyu, Xu, Yuanming, Du, Huafei, Li, Jun
Renewable energy 2019 v.135 pp. 1078-1096
altitude, computer software, fluid mechanics, helium, models, solar collectors, solar energy, solar radiation, temperature
High-altitude solar powered scientific balloon can be powered by thin-film solar panel mounted on the balloon. The temperature change of solar panel might have significant influence on the thermal performance of the balloon, which is closely related to the superheat and overpressure of balloon. The thermal model of solar powered scientific balloon was presented to investigate the thermal performance and compare with unpowered balloon. A user define function program in computational fluid dynamic software was developed based on the model. The effects of layout parameter and area of solar panel on the thermal performance of solar powered balloon were also analyzed. The results show that the temperature of envelope and internal helium of solar powered balloon is much higher than that of unpowered balloon during the daylight, and the maximum velocity of internal helium is decreased with the existence of solar panel. Moreover, the increase of the height and area of solar panel would result the raise of temperature and pressure of internal Helium, but the helium velocity and the flow distribution were hardly changed. The present work may be used to guide the design of solar energy system and the thermal control of scientific balloon.