Are Solar-Powered Airships The Future Of Green Travel? A New Report Says So!

by Tejashee Kashyap
Are Solar-Powered Airships The Future Of Green Travel? A New Report Says So!

When it comes to cutting carbon discharges, there’s still a lot to be done in terms of air travel and freight cargo. But we cannot deny that work has been underway to find technical alternatives to conventional aircraft. Enter a new groundbreaking way that has been in discussion to make air travel more climate-friendly: solar-powered airship.

In a journal ‘International Journal of Sustainable Energy‘ published by Prof. Dr Christoph Pflaum, together with Prof. Dr Agnes Jocher and their student, Tim Riffelmacher, they have brought out the findings of the green future of aviation and cargo shipping.

About Solar-Powered Airship

solar-powered airships
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Solar-powered airships are a relatively new technology that offers a range of potential benefits. These innovative vehicles are designed to be powered entirely by the sun, making them an eco-friendly and cost-effective transportation option. There are discussions that solar-powered airships can make aviation more climate-friendly in an economic manner.

They are designed to be lightweight, with most of their structure made up of a thin, flexible material to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. The electricity generated by the solar panels is used to power the airship’s electric motors and propellers, allowing it to move through the air.

Also Read: 61% Of UAE Residents Willing To Pay More For Eco-friendly & Sustainable Travelling According To This Survey

How It Benefits The Climate

Clearly, solar-powered aircraft is an exciting, futuristic idea but how does it help the climate in the long run or what about cost?

  • Solar-powered airships are an eco-friendly transportation option. Calculations have proved that they significantly reduce both transport costs and the CO2 emissions of air travel. This makes them an excellent alternative to traditional modes of transportation.
  • Moreover, energy from the power grid is only needed to recharge the battery before the airship is launched and the charging process has very low CO2 emissions. That means solar-powered airships have the potential to be a cost-effective transportation option as well. They might be requiring minimal fuel and maintenance costs.
  • They are even deemed to be safer. Because the aircraft would be devoid of combustible hydrogen or any other fuel.

The Future Of Travelling?

While solar-powered airships have many potential benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.

  • Solar-powered airships are dependent on weather conditions, particularly sunlight. They may not be able to operate during periods of low sunlight or inclement weather, making them less reliable. However, scientists have said that if the battery is charged well enough before the flight, it should be able to last for long distances even at night.
  • Moreover, these solar-powered airships are limited in terms of their speed. They even put a point forward that it’s advisable to keep the expectations lower for flight time. Does it make them less suitable for time-sensitive travel needs?

Looks like this kind of flight works best for cargo but one cannot dismiss the opportunity for passenger transport as well. However, only time will tell!

Are you excited to fly on a solar-powered airship?

Cover image credits: Wikimedia Commons