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Solar Rc plane ???

#3
First the math. You need to find the lightest, most efficient solar cells made. Find the output, figure out how many panels you need to provided the power you need to lift the weight of the panels/plane, etc.. My thinking, for the cost of the panels you can buy lots of batteries. In other words, not a viable project other then the fun of doing it. This was tried on a big scale without much success.
 

glydr

How many letters do we ge
#6
It's been done, even back in 1995:

MikroSol.jpg

This puppy is called the 'Mikrosol' and according to an article I read some years ago it was the first RC plane to be directly powered by solar cells (rather than utilise the solar cells to charge an onboard battery).

You can read more about it and the subsequent models here (if you know German or google translate): http://rz-home.de/~sieghard.dienlin/

Or you could buy a glider. Sun warms earth, earth warms air, warm air rises and causes thermal, RC glider rides thermal. Voilà - solar powered flight!

;)
 

Brian fred carr

Site Moderator
Mentor
#7
I would like to say that i challenged flitestest to do this as a challenge a long time ago... i think some solar panels made with the
use of graphine might be on the horizon they will be super efficient and super light
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#8
Apparently there is a paint that's been developed that generates electricity at a similar rate to normal PV cells, but it's so expensive that to put it on an RC plane would make a Parkzone Habu look cheap...
 

teflyer

Full Circle
#9
Solar RC planes have been done before. However, I think the cost of this project would be rather high to invest in light, efficient solar panels.

 
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Rcplaneguy

Minnesota Flyer
#10
It's been done, even back in 1995:

View attachment 3906

This puppy is called the 'Mikrosol' and according to an article I read some years ago it was the first RC plane to be directly powered by solar cells (rather than utilise the solar cells to charge an onboard battery).

You can read more about it and the subsequent models here (if you know German or google translate): http://rz-home.de/~sieghard.dienlin/

Or you could buy a glider. Sun warms earth, earth warms air, warm air rises and causes thermal, RC glider rides thermal. Voilà - solar powered flight!

;)
Wow! If that was done in '95 imagine what you could do with todays technology!
 
#11
Here is another supposed solar powered, I think it is not for the following.

1. Solar cells do not produce without good sun light available when the sun is higher in the sky. At dusk solar cells output is nothing.

2. Note the guys shadow on the solar wing. That would kill what every cell output the might have been.

3. True solar power would not have a battery on the plane, this one had to have a battery.

Can't always believe what one sees on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZlc-baC7TY&feature=player_embedded
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#14
Yeah, that's bollocks. While the number of solar panels on that thing is impressive, I doubt it'd have enough power to push those two props like that. I think that the best they'd be able to achieve with that setup is slightly extended flights.

Here is another supposed solar powered, I think it is not for the following.

1. Solar cells do not produce without good sun light available when the sun is higher in the sky. At dusk solar cells output is nothing.

2. Note the guys shadow on the solar wing. That would kill what every cell output the might have been.

3. True solar power would not have a battery on the plane, this one had to have a battery.

Can't always believe what one sees on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZlc-baC7TY&feature=player_embedded
 
#15
yeah. The plane looks quite heavy. I wonder if you use a really light glider and put two solar panels on the wing near the fuselage and use a really small motor that does not draw much amps if the idea would work. I think that perhaps is the idea behind the MIT solar powered UAV glider.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#16
I've had a quick scoot around the interweb to see what kind of thin film solar cell products there were out there. These are probably most promising, but still wouldn't be able to deliver much above 3A at 6V on a standard sort of glider wing. With a bungee launch you could stay in the air a long time though (noting that, as glydr pointed out, thermals do that for you anyway...)
 
#17
yeah, due to technology limitations on solar panels, a solar RC plane would not have much use or practicality due to the easier and more reliable option of just getting a glider and finding some thermals as glyder stated. The only applicaition is with an application like that of HELIOS, autonomous flying for long distances farther away than visible range for purposes like that of an UAV.