An investigation of the aerodynamic parameters for Solar Plane wing profile using CFD modelling

Marek Jaszczur, Karolina Papis, Michał Książek, Grzegorz Czerwiński, Gabriel Wojtas, Wojciech Koncewicz, Sylwia Nabożna, Marcin Wójcik


The technology of solar-powered aerial vehicles requires enormous financial support and further development. For this purpose, the computational fluid dynamic can be used. In order to carry out necessary analyses and model development in this research, ANSYS Fluent software was used. Using the first version of the AGH Solar Plane model, preliminary analysis of lift, drag and tearing off the stream were performed. Numerical experiments made it possible to verify many various profiles and final selection that the best suits the target model. Through these studies, it was also possible to analyse fluid flow at various speeds and angles of attack. This provided an insight into important aspects of vehicles
aerodynamic design, which should be taken into account when making the second model version. At this stage, the classical and laminar - Wortmann aerodynamic profiles were selected on the basis of the aerodynamic perfection criterion. Moreover, four new geometries were prepared on which the flattening of upper surfaces (for fixing solar panels) was tested. The results of the numerical analysis were validated in the aerodynamic tunnel using particle image velocimetry method. Taking into account all analyses, a number of recommendations have been prepared that will be implemented in order to create an aircraft, which meets all target requirements. Some of these hints were: testing new ways of connecting the wing to the nacelle, which would reduce the drag as well as considering the usage of winglets in order to minimize induced drag.


aerodynamic parameters, CFD modelling, PIV measurement, solar aircrafts

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