Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Harnessing high altitude solar power

By G.S Aglietti, S. Redi, A.R. Tatnall and T. Markvart


As an intermediate solution between Glaser's satellite solar power (SSP) and ground-based photovoltaic (PV) panels, this paper examines the collection of solar energy using a high-altitude aerostatic platform. A procedure to calculate the irradiance in the medium/high troposphere, based on experimental data, is described. The results show that here a PV system could collect about four to six times the energy collected by a typical U.K.-based ground installation, and between one-third and half of the total energy the same system would collect if supported by a geostationary satellite (SSP). The concept of the aerostat for solar power generation is then briefly described together with the equations that link its main engineering parameters/variables. A preliminary sizing of a facility stationed at 6 km altitude and its costing, based on realistic values of the input engineering parameters, is then presented

Topics: TK, TL
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

Suggested articles


  1. (2004). Energy From the Desert: Feasibility of Very Large Scale Photovoltaic Power Generation (VLS-PV) Systems. doi
  2. (1974). Feasibility Study of a Satellite Solar Power Station.
  3. (1997). technologies,” presented at the 38th Int. Astronautical Congr.,
  4. (2008). Aerostat for electrical power generation concept feasibility,” in doi
  5. (2008). Solar power generation using high altitude platforms feasibility and viability,” doi
  6. (2007). Harnessing high-altitude wind power,” doi
  7. (2002). An Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation (International Geophysics Series), doi
  8. (2004). Solar electric energy supply at high altitude,” doi
  9. (1981). Solar Energy Today. London, U.K.: Int. Solar Energy Soc.,
  10. (1972). Solar Energy for Man. doi
  11. (1994). Air mass and refraction,” doi
  12. (2004). Solar position algorithm for solar radiation applications,” doi
  13. (1964). Parameters for attenuation in the atmospheric windows for fifteen wavelengths,” doi
  14. (2002). Using a naturalAM1.5GspectrumtohelpdefineanAM1.5Dspectrumappropriate for CPV purpose,” in
  15. (2007). Indoorandoutdoorcharacterization ofa-Si:HP-I-Nmodules,”presented at the Eur. Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conf.,
  16. (1996). B.Jackson,“Asoftwarepowermodelforaspin-stabilizedLEOspacecraft utilizing V/T charge control,” in
  17. (1997). Dynamics and forcing of a tethered sphere in a fluid flow,” doi
  18. (1947). Discharge currents associated with kite balloons,” in doi
  19. (2007). Aglietti graduated (with first class honors) in aeronautical engineering from Politecnico di Milano,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.