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Can solar extend flight times?

Old 12-09-2008, 12:33 AM
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Default Can solar extend flight times?

New poster here but a longtime reader. I know this topic has probably been covered many times but Im still interested in the idea of solar power as a supplemental power source. That is a small, light and flexible panel system that can be used to maybe trickle charge small lipo batteries in park flyers for extended flight times.

Im not sure how feasible it is or how exactly it would work, thats why I've come to the experts for advice.

The platform Im working with at the moment is an MAE modified Pico Tiger Moth. This model has a full brushless power system with a very small 7.4v 500mah lipo, and an RTF weight of ~7oz - a full 2.5 oz less than the stock kit. I chose this model as a good experimental option because if its super light weight and efficient power system. If my math is correct, the power system is only about 35w.

The panels I was considering are the PowerFilm type for installation on the wings. They are light and flexible, good for installation on the wings.

Im not an engineer or electric expert so I wanted to ask about what components would be needed for such a system, how it could be wired up and which panels to use. Is it a practical idea?
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:21 AM
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The trouble with solar panels is the tiny output current (mA), you would probably end up with a panel 4 times the size of the plane to be of any good

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Old 12-09-2008, 06:29 AM
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And remember Lipoly batteries are very touchy about how they are charged. And as Kristy said, you would only get tiny amounts of current on a panel that would fit on the small Tiger Moth.

By the way, Inverted, welcome to WattFlyer and I'm glad you are posting. Join the fun.
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