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Solar Cells Possibility

Old 02-24-2006, 01:24 PM
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Default Solar Cells Possibility

I am soo very new to all this so forgive me from asking what may be the obvious, but since these micros run on very low voltage and amperage, would it be possible to splice in a solar cell to increase run time?

I messed with solar cells as a kid and i have to believe that some cells may be light enough to support in flight and supply some current to supplement battery power.

Possible or far-fetched?
Old 02-25-2006, 01:51 AM
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Default RE: Solar Cells Possibility

I dont know. you should try it. i power some stuff with solar cells. maybe you could make one that runs completely on solar
Old 02-25-2006, 04:58 AM
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Default RE: Solar Cells Possibility

going completely solar is a difficult thing to achieve. i've only seen a few fully functioning models, and they're not quite small the picture i attatched was done by a relatively well known RC'er, so he knows his stuff. the plane is 134 grams in weight with a wingspan of 32 inches. he says he got the solar cells from this place: http://www.spectrolab.com but, he also mentions that trying to solder the cells is like trying to solder a potato chip. unless you're willing to fork over some decent cash for some decent solar cells, you may have a hard time getting the plane going. most other "cheap" cells weigh too much and dont put out enough power. but, it is certainly possible

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Old 02-25-2006, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: Solar Cells Possibility

Just adding a cell to supply the battery with would be an awesome feat. 30 minute run times on a sunny day, 6 minute run times indoors.[&:]
Old 02-27-2006, 07:33 AM
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Default RE: Solar Cells Possibility

My aim would be to supplement the batteries! If you could double or better your flight times wouldn't that be worth it?

To you electronics wizards, what is more important to match - the voltage or amperage? I am not an engineer. If you aero ace runs on 7.2V would you look for a 7.2v cell, or more importantly the amperage.

And to hack in the solar cell, you would wire in parallel to the battery..(parallel to increase capacity, series to increase voltage right??)
Old 03-01-2006, 01:52 AM
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Default RE: Solar Cells Possibility

you want to keep the voltage the same or else u will fry the batteries. u want it to look like this:
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Old 04-25-2006, 02:27 PM
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Default RE: Solar Cells Possibility

graupner made an electric sailplane that had solar cells back in the 80s
Old 04-25-2006, 07:16 PM
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Default RE: Solar Cells Possibility

Turns out I actually bought some solar cells off of ebay to try and do that. The problem I had is that solar cells are so very heavy compared to the amount of electricity they produce. The other problem is that they really only produce design rating if the sun is at high noon and there is little or no moisture in the air. I strung five solar cells that were supposed to produce 400ma each, but never achieved 2 amps unless the sun was out in full force and the cells were pointed directly at it. The five cells only produced 1.25 volts as well. I was going to string 20 of them together, but since the wings never will be point at the sun while flying, I gave up the project. I would still like to get some of those flexible cells to see if they work better, but they cost much money.
Old 04-28-2006, 06:28 AM
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Default RE: Solar Cells Possibility

i fooled with cells back in grade school when they were made of heavy plate glass.
Solar cells are fascinating. I hope we see technology improve them enough to have the power output we are looking for and weight we are not!
Keep looking and let me know what you find.
Saw an article few months back in popular mechanics on a flexible roll of solar cells. Have yet to find them on the web to see what the specs are, but its a lead.

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