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(CNN)   A380 marks 5 years in sky. You'd think they would have to refuel or something   (cnn.com) divider line 7
    More: Cool, widebodies, Airbus A380, Commercial aviation  
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4191 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Dec 2012 at 2:10 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-03 02:59:19 PM
3 votes:
i2.cdn.turner.com

Don't tell me how far an airplane will almost make it.
2012-12-03 02:23:16 PM
2 votes:
It's an Airbus, I would say the fact it actually makes it to it's destinations at all is an accomplishment.
2012-12-03 07:15:05 PM
1 votes:

way south: To be fair its also running life support, charging batteries, and there is built in redundancy in case they lose a few. Plus those panel designs are decades old.
The station wasn't made to be a power plant.


Again, the problem is the order-of-magnitude gulf between "day to day" power and "moving stuff around" power shows up. The ISS averages 200-250 kW of power. My household averages 1 kW of power draw over the months I'm not running AC. There's quite a bit of power used in those air scrubbers, water recyclers, etc.

However, 200-250 kW is about what your average V6 sedan engine kicks out on your ride to work.

Gasoline or jet-fuel... absurdly power-dense stuff. Moving stuff around fast... uses absurd amounts of power.
2012-12-03 06:16:37 PM
1 votes:
scottydoesntknow

So honest question since the headline sparked it in my head.

Why haven't airline companies started developing solar panels for the wings/tops of planes? You'd figure once the big ones broke cloud cover there'd be a hell of a lot of energy up there.

Why people laugh at environmentalists 101

All this.....
www.boeing.com
... generates enough power to keep a few lights and laptops up.
2012-12-03 04:00:06 PM
1 votes:

Solon Isonomia: What made me giggle is that the solution to regaining avionic control if both engines crap out is an automatic windmill generator or something so that the plane has sufficient electric power to operate the control surfaces. Didn't endear me to the robustness of the brand.


You are describing the RAT, which is extremely common on modern aircraft and is available as an emergency backup on every airliner you're at all like to take a ride on. It is by no means an Airbus thing.
2012-12-03 02:57:29 PM
1 votes:

scottydoesntknow: So honest question since the headline sparked it in my head.

Why haven't airline companies started developing solar panels for the wings/tops of planes? You'd figure once the big ones broke cloud cover there'd be a hell of a lot of energy up there. I know they have that small unmanned plane that's been flying by solar panels for a looong time (I think it set a world record), but I'm just surprised no one's actually tried to do something like that on a commercial/military plane.


It's not that there isn't "a helluva lot" in human terms coming down on that much sunny surface. I do solar cooking and whatnot, and could boil several hundred pots of rice on that much sunny real estate.

What you underestimate is exactly how much power we're talking about with an airplane. A 747 or 380 will average 140MW of power consumption. Roughly on par with a Nimitz-class Navy carrier, or about 1/4-1/3rd of the power of the average nuclear power reactor in the US. Roughly the consumption of Des Moines. That's average... full thrust for takeoff is basically a nuclear reactor at full-bore. A mind-numbing amount of power.

Take the dimensions of a A380. I'm getting under 1000 m^2 of surface. Even with perfect solar conversion at the equator (400 W/m^2... we're nowhere near there), we'd be at 400 kW. Or one-quarter-of-1%-of-cruising-energy consumption. In reality, not even a tenth of that.
2012-12-03 02:27:49 PM
1 votes:

SultanofSchwing: It's an Airbus, I would say the fact it actually makes it to it's destinations at all is an accomplishment.


"The computers worked again!"
 
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