4 Rollback to Revision 2
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If no, why not?

While I can't say categorically that it's not happened, I'm pretty sure.

Solar radiance is approx. kW1kW/m^2. A 737 has approximately 100 m²100m^2 wing area. Solar cells are approximately 20 %20% effective.

If you covered the entire wings in solar panels, that would work out to 20 kW20kW of electrical power at best. At night, it would be close to zero extra power.

Jet fuel contains about 43 MJkg of energy (source)~43MJ/kg of energy. 20 kW20kW is 20 kJs20kJ/s. For a 2-hour hour flight, the total energy produced would be 144 MJ144MJ, or comparable to energy in 3–43-4 kilograms of jet fuel.

Turbines areis not 100 %100% efficient, so let's say that with all losses in engine, 25 %25% of the power in the fuel is available as electricity. That means you'd need 12 kg12kg of fuel to provide the same amount of electricity as the solar panels.

12 kg12kg of fuel. That's probably far less than the solar cells will weigh, probably by a factor of at least ten. In addition, the you don't have to carry around already burnt fuel, unlike solar cells, which you will have to carry around.

Edit: I found another answer on this site, that claims extra fuel use is on the order of 0.125 kgkWh125kg/kWh. I don't know if that's correct or not, nor do I really care. It doesn't change the conclusion, it only makes jet fuel even more favorable.

In short the amount of power provided by solar cells is tiny compared to the energy contained in jet fuel. And that doesn't even touch on the mechanical requirements of a wing...

If no, why not?

While I can't say categorically that it's not happened, I'm pretty sure.

Solar radiance is approx. kW. A 737 has approximately 100 m² wing area. Solar cells are approximately 20 % effective.

If you covered the entire wings in solar panels, that would work out to 20 kW of electrical power at best. At night, it would be close to zero extra power.

Jet fuel contains about 43 MJkg of energy (source). 20 kW is 20 kJs. For a 2-hour flight, the total energy produced would be 144 MJ, or comparable to energy in 3–4 kilograms of jet fuel.

Turbines are not 100 % efficient, so let's say that with all losses in engine, 25 % of the power in the fuel is available as electricity. That means you'd need 12 kg of fuel to provide the same amount of electricity as the solar panels.

12 kg of fuel. That's probably far less than the solar cells will weigh, probably by a factor of at least ten. In addition, the you don't have to carry around already burnt fuel, unlike solar cells, which you will have to carry around.

Edit: I found another answer on this site, that claims extra fuel use is on the order of 0.125 kgkWh. I don't know if that's correct or not, nor do I really care. It doesn't change the conclusion, it only makes jet fuel even more favorable.

In short the amount of power provided by solar cells is tiny compared to the energy contained in jet fuel. And that doesn't even touch on the mechanical requirements of a wing...

If no, why not?

While I can't say categorically that it's not happened, I'm pretty sure.

Solar radiance is approx. 1kW/m^2. A 737 has approximately 100m^2 wing area. Solar cells are approximately 20% effective.

If you covered the entire wings in solar panels, that would work out to 20kW of electrical power at best. At night, it would be close to zero extra power.

Jet fuel contains ~43MJ/kg of energy. 20kW is 20kJ/s. For a 2 hour flight, the total energy produced would be 144MJ, or comparable to energy in 3-4 kilograms of jet fuel.

Turbines is not 100% efficient, so let's say that with all losses in engine, 25% of the power in the fuel is available as electricity. That means you'd need 12kg of fuel to provide the same amount of electricity as the solar panels.

12kg of fuel. That's probably far less than the solar cells will weigh, probably by a factor of at least ten. In addition, the you don't have to carry around already burnt fuel, unlike solar cells, which you will have to carry around.

Edit: I found another answer on this site, that claims extra fuel use is on the order of 0.125kg/kWh. I don't know if that's correct or not, nor do I really care. It doesn't change the conclusion, it only makes jet fuel even more favorable.

In short the amount of power provided by solar cells is tiny compared to the energy contained in jet fuel. And that doesn't even touch on the mechanical requirements of a wing...

3 Some nicer units without having to drag MathJax into it with the wildly different fonts
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If no, why not?

While I can't say categorically that it's not happened, I'm pretty sure.

Solar radiance is approx. 1kW/m^2kW. A 737 has approximately 100m^2100 m² wing area. Solar cells are approximately 20%20 % effective.

If you covered the entire wings in solar panels, that would work out to 20kW20 kW of electrical power at best. At night, it would be close to zero extra power.

Jet fuel contains about 43 MJkg of energy ~43MJ/kg(source) of energy. 20kW20 kW is 20kJ/s20 kJs. For a 2 hour-hour flight, the total energy produced would be 144MJ144 MJ, or comparable to energy in 3-43–4 kilograms of jet fuel.

Turbines isare not 100%100 % efficient, so let's say that with all losses in engine, 25%25 % of the power in the fuel is available as electricity. That means you'd need 12kg12 kg of fuel to provide the same amount of electricity as the solar panels.

12kg12 kg of fuel. That's probably far less than the solar cells will weigh, probably by a factor of at least ten. In addition, the you don't have to carry around already burnt fuel, unlike solar cells, which you will have to carry around.

Edit: I found another answer on this site, that claims extra fuel use is on the order of 0.125kg/kWh125 kgkWh. I don't know if that's correct or not, nor do I really care. It doesn't change the conclusion, it only makes jet fuel even more favorable.

In short the amount of power provided by solar cells is tiny compared to the energy contained in jet fuel. And that doesn't even touch on the mechanical requirements of a wing...

If no, why not?

While I can't say categorically that it's not happened, I'm pretty sure.

Solar radiance is approx. 1kW/m^2. A 737 has approximately 100m^2 wing area. Solar cells are approximately 20% effective.

If you covered the entire wings in solar panels, that would work out to 20kW of electrical power at best. At night, it would be close to zero extra power.

Jet fuel contains ~43MJ/kg of energy. 20kW is 20kJ/s. For a 2 hour flight, the total energy produced would be 144MJ, or comparable to energy in 3-4 kilograms of jet fuel.

Turbines is not 100% efficient, so let's say that with all losses in engine, 25% of the power in the fuel is available as electricity. That means you'd need 12kg of fuel to provide the same amount of electricity as the solar panels.

12kg of fuel. That's probably far less than the solar cells will weigh, probably by a factor of at least ten. In addition, the you don't have to carry around already burnt fuel, unlike solar cells, which you will have to carry around.

Edit: I found another answer on this site, that claims extra fuel use is on the order of 0.125kg/kWh. I don't know if that's correct or not, nor do I really care. It doesn't change the conclusion, it only makes jet fuel even more favorable.

In short the amount of power provided by solar cells is tiny compared to the energy contained in jet fuel. And that doesn't even touch on the mechanical requirements of a wing...

If no, why not?

While I can't say categorically that it's not happened, I'm pretty sure.

Solar radiance is approx. kW. A 737 has approximately 100 m² wing area. Solar cells are approximately 20 % effective.

If you covered the entire wings in solar panels, that would work out to 20 kW of electrical power at best. At night, it would be close to zero extra power.

Jet fuel contains about 43 MJkg of energy (source). 20 kW is 20 kJs. For a 2-hour flight, the total energy produced would be 144 MJ, or comparable to energy in 3–4 kilograms of jet fuel.

Turbines are not 100 % efficient, so let's say that with all losses in engine, 25 % of the power in the fuel is available as electricity. That means you'd need 12 kg of fuel to provide the same amount of electricity as the solar panels.

12 kg of fuel. That's probably far less than the solar cells will weigh, probably by a factor of at least ten. In addition, the you don't have to carry around already burnt fuel, unlike solar cells, which you will have to carry around.

Edit: I found another answer on this site, that claims extra fuel use is on the order of 0.125 kgkWh. I don't know if that's correct or not, nor do I really care. It doesn't change the conclusion, it only makes jet fuel even more favorable.

In short the amount of power provided by solar cells is tiny compared to the energy contained in jet fuel. And that doesn't even touch on the mechanical requirements of a wing...

2 added 297 characters in body
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If no, why not?

While I can't say categorically that it's not happened, I'm pretty sure.

Solar radiance is approx. 1kW/m^2. A 737 has approximately 100m^2 wing area. Solar cells are approximately 20% effective.

If you covered the entire wings in solar panels, that would work out to 20kW of electrical power at best. At night, it would be close to zero extra power.

Jet fuel contains ~43MJ/kg of energy. 20kW is 20kJ/s. For a 2 hour flight, the total energy produced would be 144MJ, or comparable to energy in 3-4 kilograms of jet fuel.

Turbines is not 100% efficient, so let's say that with all losses in engine, 25% of the power in the fuel is available as electricity. That means you'd need 12kg of fuel to provide the same amount of electricity as the solar panels.

12kg of fuel. That's probably far less than the solar cells will weigh, probably by a factor of at least ten. In addition, the you don't have to carry around already burnt fuel, unlike solar cells, which you will have to carry around.

Edit: I found another answer on this site, that claims extra fuel use is on the order of 0.125kg/kWh. I don't know if that's correct or not, nor do I really care. It doesn't change the conclusion, it only makes jet fuel even more favorable.

In short the amount of power provided by solar cells is tiny compared to the energy contained in jet fuel. And that doesn't even touch on the mechanical requirements of a wing...

If no, why not?

While I can't say categorically that it's not happened, I'm pretty sure.

Solar radiance is approx. 1kW/m^2. A 737 has approximately 100m^2 wing area. Solar cells are approximately 20% effective.

If you covered the entire wings in solar panels, that would work out to 20kW of electrical power at best. At night, it would be close to zero extra power.

Jet fuel contains ~43MJ/kg of energy. 20kW is 20kJ/s. For a 2 hour flight, the total energy produced would be 144MJ, or comparable to energy in 3-4 kilograms of jet fuel.

Turbines is not 100% efficient, so let's say that with all losses in engine, 25% of the power in the fuel is available as electricity. That means you'd need 12kg of fuel to provide the same amount of electricity as the solar panels.

12kg of fuel. That's probably far less than the solar cells will weigh, probably by a factor of at least ten. In addition, the you don't have to carry around already burnt fuel, unlike solar cells, which you will have to carry around.

In short the amount of power provided by solar cells is tiny compared to the energy contained in jet fuel. And that doesn't even touch on the mechanical requirements of a wing...

If no, why not?

While I can't say categorically that it's not happened, I'm pretty sure.

Solar radiance is approx. 1kW/m^2. A 737 has approximately 100m^2 wing area. Solar cells are approximately 20% effective.

If you covered the entire wings in solar panels, that would work out to 20kW of electrical power at best. At night, it would be close to zero extra power.

Jet fuel contains ~43MJ/kg of energy. 20kW is 20kJ/s. For a 2 hour flight, the total energy produced would be 144MJ, or comparable to energy in 3-4 kilograms of jet fuel.

Turbines is not 100% efficient, so let's say that with all losses in engine, 25% of the power in the fuel is available as electricity. That means you'd need 12kg of fuel to provide the same amount of electricity as the solar panels.

12kg of fuel. That's probably far less than the solar cells will weigh, probably by a factor of at least ten. In addition, the you don't have to carry around already burnt fuel, unlike solar cells, which you will have to carry around.

Edit: I found another answer on this site, that claims extra fuel use is on the order of 0.125kg/kWh. I don't know if that's correct or not, nor do I really care. It doesn't change the conclusion, it only makes jet fuel even more favorable.

In short the amount of power provided by solar cells is tiny compared to the energy contained in jet fuel. And that doesn't even touch on the mechanical requirements of a wing...

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