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Title: Rankline-Brayton engine powered solar thermal aircraft

Abstract

A solar thermal powered aircraft powered by heat energy from the sun. A Rankine-Brayton hybrid cycle heat engine is carried by the aircraft body for producing power for a propulsion mechanism, such as a propeller or other mechanism for enabling sustained free flight. The Rankine-Brayton engine has a thermal battery, preferably containing a lithium-hydride and lithium mixture, operably connected to it so that heat is supplied from the thermal battery to a working fluid. A solar concentrator, such as reflective parabolic trough, is movably connected to an optically transparent section of the aircraft body for receiving and concentrating solar energy from within the aircraft. Concentrated solar energy is collected by a heat collection and transport conduit, and heat transported to the thermal battery. A solar tracker includes a heliostat for determining optimal alignment with the sun, and a drive motor actuating the solar concentrator into optimal alignment with the sun based on a determination by the heliostat.

Inventors:
 [1]
  1. Livermore, CA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1039762
Patent Number(s):
8,132,412
Application Number:
US patent applicaiton 12/512,727
Assignee:
Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (Livermore, CA) LLNL
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS

Citation Formats

Bennett, Charles L. Rankline-Brayton engine powered solar thermal aircraft. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Bennett, Charles L. Rankline-Brayton engine powered solar thermal aircraft. United States.
Bennett, Charles L. Tue . "Rankline-Brayton engine powered solar thermal aircraft". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1039762.
@article{osti_1039762,
title = {Rankline-Brayton engine powered solar thermal aircraft},
author = {Bennett, Charles L},
abstractNote = {A solar thermal powered aircraft powered by heat energy from the sun. A Rankine-Brayton hybrid cycle heat engine is carried by the aircraft body for producing power for a propulsion mechanism, such as a propeller or other mechanism for enabling sustained free flight. The Rankine-Brayton engine has a thermal battery, preferably containing a lithium-hydride and lithium mixture, operably connected to it so that heat is supplied from the thermal battery to a working fluid. A solar concentrator, such as reflective parabolic trough, is movably connected to an optically transparent section of the aircraft body for receiving and concentrating solar energy from within the aircraft. Concentrated solar energy is collected by a heat collection and transport conduit, and heat transported to the thermal battery. A solar tracker includes a heliostat for determining optimal alignment with the sun, and a drive motor actuating the solar concentrator into optimal alignment with the sun based on a determination by the heliostat.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {3}
}

Patent:

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