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how can i make a solar power quadcopter? Answered

is it possible to make a quadcopter which could get its power need from solar energy? n what about its weight...with panels on it...it might be heavy....how can i control its weight? 

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rickharris

2 years ago

There is plenty of information about power requirements on the web.
Typically each motor will draw around 40 amps at 16 volts. So that's 640 watts (amps x volts)

x 4 motors = 2560 watts That's 2 and a half kilo watts!!

My PV panels on the roof give out 250 watts at 31volts so produce about 8 amps max.- They are approx 4 feet x 3 feet and weigh about 25 kg EACH. Even at twice as efficient this is going to be too heavy and gigantic.

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icengrickharris

Answer 2 years ago

NO Offense, but I take issue with a miniature 40A motor for a hot rod flyer... Instead I would use a PC pancake slow traction motor about 3A with leaf like propellers made of flex solar cells to match the motor speed torque characteristics...

There are companies working on miniature evacuated carbon cubes that are individually lighter then air and may be combined to form a lifting super structure.

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rickharrisiceng

Answer 2 years ago

Iceng, Trouble is like everything there are lots of options out there and many configurations. Your comment applies to very light weight and low lifting capacity BUT when you start putting solar on, the weight is going to just jump.

None of the commercial drones I have seen use the leaf type of ultra light prop they tend to go for power and speed.

I must admit I don't fly drones of any kind but have looked at their development as far as I can see for anything that can lift weight, a few gms up to a low number of kg your looking at a motor configuration in the 20 to 40 amp range or more. The esc should be rated + 20%.

My initial information came from here:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22...

even a very small quad may draw 8 amps per motor which would be very modest.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__25555__...

70 amp motor specifically for quads.

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rickharrisrickharris

Answer 2 years ago

You will note they are suggesting a 50 Amp ESC so motor draw around 230 - 40 amps.

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headslant

2 years ago

No. Motors require a lot of power, and a solar panel just wouldnt cut it. You could add a small solar cell, and generate a bit of energy to help power the quadcopter for a bit longer, but the wight of the extra accesories for this would not help at all. it would just become less efficient.

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iceng

2 years ago

Using visible/IR dual solar cells doubling electric energy, and a carbon fiber structure will let you can find a size point where the mass to lift ratio shrinks below unity. However that may still make the unit subservient to wind currents because of the large surface area.

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sunnymike

2 years ago

I don't know a lot about solar power but, I believe the square inches of solar panels needed would be prohibitive because of what I do know about quadcopter power systems of the ones I own. A small quadcopter ( about 8 to 10 inches between motors) and ability to lift about 5 lbs. (including its own weight of about 3.5 lbs.) draws about 60 amps at 11.1 volts (a typical 3 cell LiPo) Each motor is rated about 200 watts. So, you can work from there. Figure out the balance between panel power and panel weight and copter weight to see if you can build a copter with motors powerful enough to lift all the weight the of the panels enough to generate power for the motors.