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Solar powered balloon?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by cjdelphi, Apr 2, 2016.

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  1. cjdelphi

    cjdelphi

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    Oct 26, 2011
    Had a thought, would it be possible to use solar power on top of a hydrogen filled balloon?, with a couple of motors that can push it in a direction of choice...

    But, the catch is, the circuitry would have a way of converting say 100ml of onboard water into hydrogen to keep the balloon up and floating, but then i have no idea how much hydrogen could be produced by small solar cells

    Idea being that these drones could hover above crowds supplying wifi/mobile data to the crowd (which could be focused from a tower by a bi-directional beam laser/wifi etc km's away)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  2. Colin Mitchell

    Colin Mitchell

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    This is a brilliant idea.
     
  3. cjdelphi

    cjdelphi

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    The tip could be pulled into the centre producing a dish shaped feature (what's the name i'm thinking parabolic? ) and coated with something to grab the transmitted waves?

    I don't know how it would top itself up with hydrogen though, making it is easy enough though it could fly and hover and give it gps cords and yet stay high enough to stop people throwing rocks at it lol (but if they know it gives wifi maybe they'll respect it more)

    One more thing, can it be done? lol....
     
  4. BobK

    BobK

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    Why would you have to keep topping it off with hydrogen?

    Bouancy would need to be controlled, but there are better ways to do this than releasing an replenishing the hydrogen. The first thing that comes to mind for me is to compress / expand some portion of the hydrogen.

    Bob
     
  5. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid

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    Or leave the hydrogen alone and compress/expand air in a tank of some kind. We could call it a ballast tank. If it works for the balloon, the navy might be interested.

    But seriously, the US milirary already has balloons they teather above an operations area for sensor surveillance and comms. Besices signals, the teather means the balloons do not expend any energy staying in place. Given that a balloon by definition has a large cross-sectional area relative to its weight, it takes a lot of energy to hold one in place in even a mild breeze. The latest Goodyear blimp has three 200-hp engines.

    ak
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  6. cjdelphi

    cjdelphi

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    I'm thinking the size of a medium sized dog, low say 10 meters high, maybe a compressed gas can can inject on mc command filling the dog sized balloon to keep it balanced then? The solar panels would just run the electronics / servos, in event of high wind it can just release the gas until it lands , i'm thinking of it purely for public held activities, sports day events beaming the wifi out of the window to the pitch so everyone can join the lan (schools) or out on the street for spontaneous events everyone could join the network who knows what could be done for the lan side of things, multiplayer games, social networking in groups out in the park, internet not really required for all local area network apps, everyone could just meet in a park have it float off the ground high enough to stop people stealing it but still give a good signal

    lan outdoor parties, chat etc, while schools can beam data on students performances eg where they came 1st 2nd and info about events as well as being able to get real time info of any problems keeping the entire public uptodate or of course to simply provide internet :)

    I was not thinking army/navy lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  7. ChosunOne

    ChosunOne

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    Jun 20, 2010
    Cjdelphi, what size balloon were you envisioning? One of the reasons we aren't already doing this is the size scale involved in ballooning. By the time you get balloons large enough to lift motors, batteries, control circuitry and cameras, the balloon is large enough to catch and be carried off by the slightest breeze. Self-sustaining balloons have be in the ball park of Goodyear-size to be practical.

    Edit: I didn't see your latest post before I posted. Good luck making that dog size work. Experiment with filling large trash bags with hydrogen and testing the lift.
    2nd Edit. While you're at it, notice how slight a breeze it takes to blow your balloon around.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  8. cjdelphi

    cjdelphi

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    Oct 26, 2011
    No luck needed, just a thought i had


    How about a large flat disk with some kind of antenna on top which spins round looking for a carrier frequency under it the wifi signal for the crowd while it manouvers back into place?
     
  9. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid

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    The flatter the disc, the less space-efficient it is. Per calculus-1, nothing has a better volume-to-surface area ratio than a sphere.

    ak
     
  10. cjdelphi

    cjdelphi

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    Oct 26, 2011
    Regular drone with some kind of wireless power source? (blimp it is lol)
     
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