Vision Systems Aeronautics (Booth 2809) of Lyon, France is unveiling here at EBACE 2014 two new products: Energia, a self-powered dimmable window; and VisiStream, a solution for Wi-Fi inflight entertainment (IFE) and connectivity.
Until recently, electrically dimmable aircraft windows were dependent on electrical current supplied through the aircraft grid. With new technology from French energy specialist Sunpartner and its recently acquired French partner Vision Systems (Booth No. C9925), that is about to change.
According to Ludovic Deblois, CEO and founder of Sunpartner Group, the company’s new Wysips Glass can transform any glass surface into a photovoltaic energy-generating solar panel producing enough energy to power the dimmable window itself without the need of an external power source.
In collaboration with Sunpartner Technologies, Lyon, France-based Vision Systems will unveil a solar-powered, autonomous dimmable aircraft window dubbed Energia next month at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas. Using Sunpartner’s Wysips (“What You See Is a Photovoltaic Surface”) technology, solar energy is harvested on the ground or in flight and stored in a battery integrated into the window. The generated electrical energy allows the dimmable system to run during the flight. The design eliminates the need for network cabling, making installation and maintenance easier.
Lyon Bron Airport in France held a grand opening for a new 32,000-sq-ft hangar on April 2. The $4.7 million facility includes 2,800 sq ft of office space. Green features of the hangar include 15,000 sq ft of solar cells on the roof, capable of producing 90 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. Another part of the roof is covered with vegetation that will retain rainwater.
Solar Impulse’s first prototype made its first flight on April 7 in Payerne, Switzerland, paving the way for the first night flight with a solar-powered, manned aircraft this summer. Company CEO André Borschberg and founder Bertrand Piccard are then planning a round-the-world flight, with probably five stopovers, to demonstrate the potential of investing in renewable energies.
Denver International Airport is planning to power its fuel-storage and -distribution system with a new 1.6-megawatt solar power system. The system is designed to provide 100 percent of the power needed by the fuel farm and should be operating by the end of this year. The photovoltaic panels will be installed on nine acres north of the airport.
The HB-SIA solar-powered aircraft, the first prototype of the Solar Impulse project, is to be unveiled next week on June 26 at Dübendorf air base, near Zurich, Switzerland. Those who attend will discover some design changes since the last images were released, company CEO André Borschberg told AIN, adding that a first flight is planned for later this year.
Avjet’s new solar-powered hangar at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif., represents not only the most current environmentally friendly building design but also illustrates that going green doesn’t necessarily cost more.
Le Castellet Airport in southeast France will have a 60,000-sq-ft photovoltaic roof operational this spring on a new hangar. Peak power delivered by the solar panels is 150 kilowatts, which translates into an average 185,000 kWh per year. This is about 40 percent of the airport’s electric power needs.
The trend of airports adding solar power systems is growing in the southwest U.S., which sees more sunny days each year than other parts of the country. Sacred Power of Albuquerque, N.M., installed a 10-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array at White Sands Regional Airport in Alamogordo last November.
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