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Solar powered remote controlled aircraft

Solar powered remote controlled aircraftOn December 17, 1903, when Wright brothers build the first aircraft, it became discovery, that changed the world completely. They build fixed-wing aircraft which are capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed and the shape of the wings. In the last century though, everything improved from the design of aircraft, fuel efficiency and power of the engine but aircraft fuel which is most important has not changed and become the leading cause of global warming.

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 the last century was only on designing and improving the efficiency of the engine and not on changing its fuel.

So, why now?
In the last decade, awareness of the general public about climate change has increased significantly. This awareness and fuel price that is rising at rocket speed creates catastrophic effect, which pressurizes us to think about alternative fuel for aircraft and one of these alternates is Solar Energy, which we are going to discuss today.

Is it possible?

Yes it is, recently Swiss-made Solar-Powered Plane, Solar Impulse completed its 4000 miles journey between Europe and Africa successfully. You can read more about it at the news website msnbc.

What's the need for building solar-powered RC planes?

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 RC planes in Aeronautical Projects Post. Solar Powered RC Plane is an extension of that post.
Most of you know that planes are the biggest polluter in the world. In a series of steps we need to tackle global warming, solar RC planes could be vital.

Basic Principle:

Sun Energy --> Solar Panels -->Batteries-->Converter-->Motor and Electronics Equipment

How to build one?

Design :
Design of Solar Airplanes(PDF)
Performance Analysis 

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 the external environment)

Jon Kalow, Jun Kudo and James Nick Vines discuss the complete procedure, prototype and details about building solar RC Plane at their webpage. Click here for complete detail

Useful PDF:
Solar Impulse

Related Projects:


1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful project....