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Gas powered generator instead of batteries

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Roadkilt, May 28, 2013.

  1. Roadkilt

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    It's clear that battery life is an issue and that four motors require a lot of power, and need to be controlled by an electrical management system. A small gas motor can power a generator that could run the whole system for extended periods, much like the real drones of the military. Although vibration may be a bigger problem than it already is, it would certainly run a lot longer without the anxiety of a ten minute limit. Is anyone aware of a product like this that could run an electric quadcopter like the Phantom?
     
  2. FPVwannabe

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    I think any DC motor with permanent magnets can serve as a generator.
    I'll leave the electronic math up to you cuz I suck at it, but I do know lots of people buy the motors from treadmills because of this. They use them for generators and to build remote control robots and lawnmowers. I'm in the middle of building an RC lawnmower right now.
     
  3. sn3ak3rp1mp

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    I don't know about this. Whatever you add (small nitro motor + fuel + alternator / generator setup) you end up having to lift in the air, you're adding weight. With enough power generation, I guess you could overcome that and see longer flight times, but then I guess you're at a point where you'd just want to run nitro in the first place... though getting the delicate balance in motor RPM to enable a quadrotor to fly would be out of the question.

    I just don't see this as being viable.

    Cheers,
    Paul
     
  4. auck

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    i concur. the possibility exist to put a gas motor in the phantom to generate electricity, but the question is how do you control the engine to control electricity generated? also, how would you cool the motor? wouldn't the motor get too hot and melt the phantom shell? not to mention you would have to isolate the engine some how to minimize vibration. I am all for a longer flight time with potential to have more electrical power than needed, but i can't see how this would happen.
     
  5. Audaciter

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    As long as we are dreaming, maybe DJI could come up with a nuclear powered Phantom, that uses fuel cells the size of a
    Tylenol. It could run for years.
     
  6. tanasit

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    It is a matter of efficiency. Electricity generated by internal combustion engine has to be accumulated ever so slowly into the battery and most of the time will require the converter to change the DC to AC. In our case, with nowadays technology we don't have any generator & engine combination that is efficient enough to harvest the capacity required for little 4 motors.
    Otherwise many will use an engine to run an alternator to charge up the battery pack that is being used to run the air craft. This is also true for the solar panel which is not powerful enough for immediate application like flying craft but may be good for just the bobbing head toys that you see sitting on the dash board.
     
  7. Roadkilt

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    I agree that batteries are simple and constantly improving. There is an interesting article on a generator being developed that in combination with a micro turbine, also being developed would be about the size of our batteries but capable of 25-50 watts. If that was buffered through a capacitor it should be capable of flying. Hey, early days, dream big.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 154548.htm
     
  8. auck

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    that article is NINE (9) years old. i would love to fly a lot longer than i am able to now, not to mention power all of the gizmo i have attached with one power source rather than having two batteries on board. however, i am not going to be holding my breath for this one.....
     
  9. raggy

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    One petrol engine driving all props mechanically and quad controlled by small battery powered pitch change? That would be too big a mod for the phantom perhaps!
     
  10. tvpopta

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    That would be pretty cool! Especially since that would also open up the possibility to an auto-rotation emergency landing if any failure occurs :idea: