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Old Jul 14, 2011, 08:36 AM
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United States, WI, Eau Claire
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Could this development change Electric RC forever?

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/p...ells-0711.html

Amazing - printable solar cells that can even be printed on paper and plastics.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 12:20 PM
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Ducky22's Avatar
Canada, ON, Mississauga
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That is pretty amazing.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 12:42 PM
RIP Ric
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Marietta, GA
Joined Jun 1999
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The most efficient commercial panels produce something like 12W/square foot in direct sunlight. An average 2m sailplane wing surface could conceivably generate 60W of power. Enough to keep it aloft, as has been shown here many times..
..a
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 09:15 PM
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To bad for the Night Flyers.
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Old Jul 14, 2011, 10:50 PM
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Joined Aug 2007
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Probably not. At 1% efficiency, powering an LCD clock or what ever low power device is on the order of microamps is trivial. This device would be applicable for large scale deployments.

You might see the application of this to model aircraft at the same time the tobacco mosaic virus battery is mass produced. Key quote is "scale up" for some such application. It's always a question of scale.
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Old Jul 15, 2011, 12:55 AM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
Aberdeen
Joined Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy W View Post
The most efficient commercial panels produce something like 12W/square foot in direct sunlight. An average 2m sailplane wing surface could conceivably generate 60W of power. Enough to keep it aloft, as has been shown here many times..
..a
Yeah, If you live in a place with powerful overhead sun and you fly in cloudless conditions at midday, and if you are happy flying sailplane type model in a slow sedate fashion then solar power flight is 'possible'...at a price!

HOWEVER
  • If you want to fly sport or aerobatic or scale or racer model?... forget it
  • If you want to fly in countries that don't often get strong sunlight?..forget it
  • If you want to fly in the morning or evening, in cloudy conditions or in the winter?... Forget it
In a nutshell while solar power flight is possible it is far from practical for the vast majority and for most it never will be. A far more practical route to solar powered flight is to use solar power to charge your batteries.

Steve
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Old Jul 15, 2011, 08:38 AM
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United States, KY, Hopkinsville
Joined Feb 2008
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Here is a real solar powered plane.



http://www.solarimpulse.com/

Freddy
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Old Jul 15, 2011, 08:56 AM
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United States, MA, Medfield
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I haven't run the numbers but if you took total Watts of sunlight hitting your plane, even with high-efficiency, you'd probably calculate that you have nowhere's near the Watts to drive performance plane.

What it might be cool for would be charging. It would be great to have the roof of the sun shack at the local club field covered with cheap solar cells, then have a few deep-discharge batteries that are kept fresh from the solar cells. Then club-member could just plug in their chargers and recharge easily.

-l2t
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