If you read airplane history, you would find that human need and desire of flying is more powerful than flying with renewable energy.So, focus in last century was only on designing and improving efficiency of engine and not on changing its fuel.
So , Why now?
In last decade, awareness of general public about climate change has increase significantly. With this awareness and fuel price that are rising at rocket speed creates catastrophic effect, which pressurizes us to think about alternate fuel for aircraft and one of these alternates is Solar Energy, which we are going to discuss today.
Is it possible?
When we think of building our plane, we know that because of financial and knowledge constraint we can only build models and small planes as our engineering project. We already discussed about RC planes in Aeronautical Projects Post . Solar Powered RC Plane is extension of that post.
Most of you know that planes are the biggest polluter of the world. In a series of steps we need to tackle global warming , solar rc planes could be vital.
Sun Energy –> Solar Panels –>Batteries–>Converter–>Motor and Electronics Equipment
How to build one?
Design of Solar Airplanes(PDF)
MATLAB : For designing your plane
Mono-crystalline Silicon cells
Lithium Polymer Battery
Management System for Charge/ Discharge and Temperature
Thermal Insulation ( To Safeguard batteries from external environment)