Oct 26, 2004, 09:30 AM

# Solar Powered RC Plane Project

Hi to one and all,

Thanks alot for all your help and suggestions for the previous enquiry. We're back again. We are a bunch of polytechnic students from Singapore and are currently trying to build a Solar powered RC aircraft as part of our final year project. We failed miserably with our previous attempt to convert a Cherub 2 Electric glider to a solar powered one.

We crashed the glider while trying to fly it using battery power (testing purposes). While working with the glider we realised that it had too small a wing area to mount a sufficient solar panels and another big problem that we faced was not knowing the exact power comsumption of the aircraft.

We obviously need these values to decide on the number of panels needed to be mounted on the aircraft. It seemed, however, as though that the amount of power needed for this particular aircraft was going to be something big (Arnd 7.2V @ 3A!). We weren't very sure of such factors and were rather rash in purchasing the glider.

Ok so here's our current situation. We have no aircraft and no solar panels. We wouldnt want to waste our project budget and are weighing up our options carefully before going ahead with the next aircraft.

We do however have a futaba controller and receiver. What we need from you guys are some suggestions on some good models to convert to solar.

We would like the aircraft to have some power consumtion values to work with and also one that requires the least amount of power, has a large wingspan and is easy to fly for beginners like us. We look forward to your kind help.

Thanks guys!
 Oct 26, 2004, 09:43 AM Registered User Sailplanes powered by efficient brushless motors require as little 25-30W/lb to maintain level flight in dead air. Assuming a total weight : solar panel weight ratio of 10:1 (i.e. panels are no more than 1/10th of total airframe weight), find a solar panel of any size that can produce 10x the 25-30W/lb ratio (i.e. if the panels weigh a total of 8oz, they should be capable of putting out (.5 x 30W x 10)=150W). If you accept a 5:1 airframeanel ratio (20%), then an 8oz panel should put out 75W.. etc. ..a
Nov 04, 2004, 10:39 AM

# Searching for best plane (Need help from anyone)

Hello everyone,

I'm currently doing a project in school and the aim is to power an rc plane using solar panels.

I'll be mounting thin flexible solar cell sheets onto the wing of the plane and because of this I need a plane that is able to take off and land safely with as little impact as possible.

I'm an rc beginner, so i'm looking for anyone who can offer me some advice on how to choose a suitable plane and maybe name some models that are currently available in the market.

The plane definetly must have the following:
1) long wingspan (for solar panel mounting)
2) light weight.
3) landing gears

I would also like to know the rating of the plane (Amount of amps, volts and watts it requires to be powered)

If u have any models to recommend. Pls post them together with the RATING of the plane. I really need to know the amount of power it requires.

Thanks!

Regards,
Jeremy
 Nov 04, 2004, 03:22 PM ok, maybe it is a toy Hello. I agree with dreck on the landing gear...loose it. It will save considerable weight, so just belly land. I would use a high-efficiency geared brushless, like a Hacker. A glider/sailplane will provide "free" lift from thermals on a calm sunny day that is also perfect for max. solar radiation. You may want to consider getting an experienced Pilot to help you fly it...as most of us know, building our first masterpiece didn't qualify us to fly it. All the best. Look forward to hearing about your progress.
 Nov 04, 2004, 06:14 PM Sussex, UK I think I said this last time, but buy something cheap to learn on first (like a slowstick or easystar), so you won't be worrying about how to fly when you've got the expensive gear on board.
 Nov 05, 2004, 01:04 PM tender Hallo "chelsearules", you can look my solar-powered glider RIVAL-8 here: http://www.rivamodels.sk/image_gal/1215.jpg or in the "PIC chronicle" in the same site (www.rivamodels.sk). Model have 20 solar cells from Graupner (50x100 mm one cell). Max. voltage 10V, max.current 1,1-1,3 A Power unit: 360/240 (14,5/9,5") propeller, gear 6:1 (home made), Speed 400/7V motor ESC: Graupner Solar-mos-18 electronic speed controller Buffer accus: 6-cells Robbe 700 mAh Receiver: Graupner 6-chanels Servos: 2x MINI (approx. 18 g). Power consumption: approx. 3 A for climb, appr. 1,3 A for horizontal flight Best flight: approx. 3 hours and 50 minutes (then come big rain and I must sit down). This model I build in end of 1992 and fly 1992/1993. Today you can build similar model as my RIVAL-8 but you can use better solar cells, better motor (likely small brushless), smalest NiMH buffer accus, low weight servos.... If you need some help from me, send me message here: [email protected] Palo P.S.: big sorry for my "childrenīs english"
 Nov 05, 2004, 01:25 PM tender Hallo Jeremy one more time... my solar-plane from 1992 is here Palo Last edited by tender; Nov 05, 2004 at 02:15 PM.
Nov 18, 2004, 07:14 PM
Registered User
Might find some useful info here. Fyi, the plane is still flying well.

### Images

 Nov 18, 2004, 08:15 PM Registered User Jeremy, All the information you need is on this forum but some of the parts to buy and the techniques to build may be difficult to learn in a short time through the net. If you need to contact Singapore modellers, go to the forum at http://forum.starhub.net.sg/cgi-bin/...gi?act=SF;f=83 or you can PM to me. Shane
 Oct 05, 2008, 02:39 AM Freeflighter What about getting a cheap palm-z plane and putting some solar panels on the wings? You'ld only need to split open the body,, cut out the battery and connect the solar panels to it. That's going to be my next project.
 Oct 05, 2008, 03:48 AM Registered User
 Feb 11, 2016, 03:25 PM Aneesh547 A moderator felt this post violated the following rule: Cross-posting. It is temporarily hidden while Aneesh547 edits it.
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