Many of us have projects that wind up spanning multiple years as well as multiple models and gets revisited every single time inspiration strikes as well as you’ve forgotten just how much work and stress the previous round was. For [Daniel Riley] AKA [rctestflight] that project is a solar energy RC plane which to date covers 4 years, 4 variations and 13 video clips. It is a gold mine of info gathered through tough experience, covering carbon fiber building techniques, solar energy management as well as the difficulties of screening in the real life, to name a few.
Solar RC Plane V1 had a 9.5 feet/ 2.9 m carbon fiber skeleton wing, covered with a transparent film, with the delicate monocrystaline solar cells installed inside the wing. V1 experienced numerous accidents which smashed all the solar batteries, up until [Daniel] discovered that the wing flexed under aileron input. It likewise did not have any kind of type of solar fee control. V2 included a 2nd wing spar to a somewhat longer 9.83 ft/ 3 m wing, which allowed for even more solar batteries.
Solar Plane V3 was upgraded to use a single hexagonal spar to conserve weight while still keeping stiff, as well as the solar batteries were a lot more long lasting and also reliable. [Daniel] did a lot of testing to find an optimal solar billing set up and discovered that using the solar array to bill the batteries straight in a well-balanced system actually works similarly well or much better than an MPPT fee controller.
V4 is a separation from the difficult carbon fibre layout and makes use of a straightforward foam board flying wing with a tipped KF airfoil rather. The craft is much smaller sized with just a 6 ft/ 1.83 m wingspan. It did remarkably well, keeping the battery completely charged throughout the whole flight, which however finished in a collision after adjusting the autopilot. [Daniel] believes the main reasons for the improved performance are better solar panels and the truth that there is no longer movie covering the cells.
We look forward to seeing where this project goes! Have A Look At Solar Plane V4 after the break.
Traveling on the power of the sun is most definitely not an originality, however it typically involves a battery between the solar panels and the propulsion system. [ukanduit] chosen to shed the battery totally and manage the speed of the electric motor with the output of the photovoltaic panels. This results in some fascinating flying qualities, nearly similar to cruising.
When a load attempts to attract even more existing than a solar panel can give, its result drops dramatically, so [ukanduit] had to take this into account. Using a ATTiny85, he built a MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker) system that links in between the RC Plane receiver and also the motor rate controller. It checks the result of the panels as well as regulates the speed of the electric motor as necessary, while making sure that there is constantly adequate power to run the servos and receiver. The airframe ( called the Solar Bear) is a small lightweight flying wing, with a balsa and also carbon fibre structure covered with clear film, with the solar batteries housed inside the wing. Because the drive of the motor is straight proportional to how much sunlight strikes the top of wings, it needs the pilot to “tack” against the sunlight as well as usage momentum to swiftly survive turns before orienting right into the sun once more.
If you wish to construct your very own controller, the schematics as well as software program mindful RC Groups.