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Using solar cells to charge the Phantom batteries in mid flight.

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by danno38852, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. danno38852

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    Does anyone think this can be done. I don`t see why not. I haven`t purchased my Phantom yet so I`m really a newbie. This would make flight extender antennas much more fun to use. The flight wouldn`t out last the power. Need some Techie comments. If I had one I would`ve already tried it. Thanks in advance for the comments.
     
  2. flpholt

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    I think it would work might take awhile
     
  3. kcmusa

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    well the 100w charger puts out 17v at a little over 5a.
    your not going to get anywhere near that on the phantom with a few solar cells.
     
  4. PrecisionAeroworks

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    Let's see:

    Say you could get a whole square foot of solar panel on the Phantom (which you probably couldn't), that would (best case) produce about 20W of power.

    OK, lots of ways to look at this, but let's try this: For our ~15V system, the 20W solar panel would create (20W/15V=1.33A) about 1.33 amps of current. Over the course of a 15 minute flight, that would come to [(1.33/4)*1000)mAh] about 333mAh that the solar panel could contribute to the power system.

    Since our 4480 mAh P3 batteries have something like a usable (4480*.8) 3584 mAh, the solar panel would represent a <10% increase in capacity. Probably not enough to carry its own weight.
     
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  5. eaglegoaltender

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    Well considering the added weight (panels would be huge), the fact they would likely block out your gps antennae is also an issue, the drag created and the negative effect on aerodynamics - ----- wait, why am I going on about this - it is physically impossible to do this. Nice thought however.

    I did see two panels that supplied around 20 watts each for a total of 40w that were used for re-charging a LiPo battery similar to those of the Phantom - and it took almost 7 hours for a 70% charge. The panels were roughly 3ft x 4.5ft and I would guess maybe 25 - 30lbs total weight - does that help you with your question.
     
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  6. danno38852

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    Thanks for the input . I didn`t expect to fully charge the battery during flight. I just wondered if it would extend it some. This might,though, damage the battery. Whats the consensus on battery damage from a partial charge???
     
  7. alokbhargava

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    Current design of phantom fights against the wind. Design should be improved so that wind helps Phantom. That way wind energy could increase flight hours drastically.

    We have seen a glider can fly for hours in thermals with absolute no embedded source of energy.
     
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  8. souldronedlyer

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    There will be no damage on lipo battery with solar trickle charge.
    With today solar panel, you might get .00001% increase in flight time if you line the whole upper body of the phantom with solar cell

    Don't forget today quad is really nothing but a flying battery/camera. There is zero aero efficiency to help our lovely brick to stay in the sky.




    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
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  9. danno38852

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    O.K. Maybe I`m a dreamer, but would a wind driven generator or generators mounted underneath possibly work? I know the drag would cause you to be forced to fly slow. There are lots of wind driven mini- generators on the market. Tons are on ebay. I`m gonna research more. Thanks for all the input guys.
     
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  10. alokbhargava

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    Dreams encourage us to innovate things. Don't get disappointed.
     
  11. Ajginger

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    Wind generators sound like they could work, try it and let us know.
    Pity the motors couldnt be little generators as well.
     
  12. Dal

    Dal

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    Can't do it.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  13. FantomFlier

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    The perpetual motion machine has been dreamed about for centuries. It will likely stay a dream.......
     
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  14. JockC

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    As another poster suggested, I believe the reduction in flight time as a result of the added weight of the solar panel would more than offset any gain you may have through trickle charging the battery in flight. I suspect the nett result would almost certainly be a reduction in flight time rather than a gain.

    Even those who mod their batteries with additional booster batteries appear to be extending their flight times by a only few minutes and those booster batteries would produce far more power than any solar panels that you could carry. In general, I don't believe that any add on power sources are likely to provide any significant gain in terms of flight times.. The one thing that would likely benefit us all is if DJI develops a higher rated battery that fits into the same battery slot. If they ever do then I'll certainly be buying a couple of them.
     
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  15. BW4706

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    Some kind of miniature stator on each motor to keep the battery charged would be nice. Just like a motorcycle uses to keep the battery charged.
     
  16. FantomFlier

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    The motorcycle gets its energy from petrol, not the battery.
     
  17. With The Birds

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    The motorcycle would travel further on a tank of gas if it wasn't using part of the power produced by the motor to charge the battery. It would gain slightly more ground on the flat or up the next slope from coasting down hills also.
     
  18. jonebk12

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    It's physically impossible (as in, violates the laws of thermodynamics) for any device that is driven by the movement of the craft or the motors themselves to produce a net energy gain. As another poster said, perpetual motion is a pipe dream.
     
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  19. BW4706

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    Wishful thinking.
     
  20. Slow Polk

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    Are there any gas powered drones out there? That would be a way to extend flight. Bus as a old RC flyer I can tell you it is messy and hard to get all for motors coordinated with each other. As for more batters and wind generator that is a pipe dream as someone else has already stated. I am sure that if we live long enough there will be advances in technology that one day we might be there. For now be happy with the 20+ mins and buy extra batteries.
     
    Peter Moorhouse likes this.