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Hydrogen & Wind Powered Zeppelin Could Revolutionize Airship Transportation
Posted By Bridgette Meinhold On January 19, 2011 @ 1:46 pm In Architecture,Green Transportation,Innovation | 4 Comments
Zeppelins are pie-in-the-sky sort of dreams and every year or so there's a new concept for one, but they never seem to get built. Ever since the great Hindenburg disaster, people are wary of the concept altogether, not to mention, they're incredibly expensive. Lieven Standaert, a Belgian engineer, is hard at work designing a zeppelin that dispels all the major design issues of airships. He's proposing to build a long and pointy airship called the Aeromodeller II, made out of low-cost materials that generates its own hydrogren via wind power and never needs to land. If his theories prove correct, he could revolutionize airship designs and propel hydrogen power into the future for zero emissions transportation.
Current designs for airships have numerous problems, including that they rely on helium, they’re expensive to build, are vulnerable due to their over-pressured skins and require expensive hangars  to park them in. Standaert’s design for the Aeromodeller II would eliminate many of these problems. The zeppelin’s shape is modified to be longer and skinnier to reduce the need for pressurized skins. Lower cost materials, like light thermoplastic foil could be used instead of a woven skin material. The Aeromodeller II is also designed so it never needs to land, which eliminates the need for expensive hangars.
The zeppelin would move via hydrogen, which would be generated on board, so it never needs to stop at a refueling station. Using ground anchors, the airship’s propellers would switch gears to become turbines, harnessing the power of the wind  to generate hydrogen. In this way, the zeppelin could remain aloft indefinitely by resupplying hydrogen whenever it needs to.
More like a sail boat than a power boat, the Aeromodeller II isn’t designed for speed and would probably only achieve about 80 km/h (50mph). This low speed transportation though would be completely zero-emissions  and rely completely on renewable energy. Standaert is currently showing a model of his design in Antwerp, Belgium, until the end of February (find out more here ).
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/hydrogen-wind-powered-zeppelin-could-revolutionize-airship-transportation/
URLs in this post:
 hangars: http://inhabitat.com/gigantic-airship-hangar-transformed-into-tropical-island-resort/
 power of the wind: http://inhabitat.com/category/energy/wind
 zero-emissions: http://inhabitat.com/worlds-first-hydrogen-hybrid-ferry-coming-to-nyc/
 find out more here: http://www.transitzone.be/Kunstlicht2010/home.html
 + Lieven Standaert: http://www.aeromodeller2.be/
 Low Tech Magazine: http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2009/02/gipsy-zeppelin-baseship.html
 Spaceinvading: http://www.spaceinvading.com/entry/project_id/201101181295396596
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