Solar Powered Plane

Recently Texas A&M College gave high school students around Texas an opportunity to build a Solar Powered Plane. I am in one of the high schools and on the team. However, our team has a small problem. The plane they gave us is a Gentle Lady Glider. We have finished building the wing, but we do not see how we can mount the solar panels flush against the wing without cracking them. They need to be wired in series, so should we cut them or what? Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. 

Competition is on April 20th, 2013, and I'll post pictures when we're through. 

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  • Hej, nice project.

    Flexible foil-based solar cells might be the solution for your problem with cracking solar cells on the wing.

    Check out    (the modules are not so powerful, but can be bended and eventually directly used as wing)

  • Here's the instructables I promised:

    It landed itself on the front page of under the featured section. 

  • Our competition on Saturday went great! We won 2nd for endurance and the creativity award! Our plane wasn't able to charge because there was heavy overcast and we got 11.95 volts which was .05v away from the needed 12 volts. However, our plane did not crash and did pretty decently. 

    Here are the photos:

    Thanks to everyone who gave advice for my team and me on this project. 

  • I thought of mounting flat solar panels inside the wing on platforms between the ribs and then covering the wing with tranparenent Oracover

  • One trial and least partial success:

    Cell cutting also possible ("raw cells"):

    You need carefully calculate proper combination of cells (how many in series/parallel) and motor/prop. Bigger prop and low kv motor better. I'm trying first to get solared Pico Stick into air  ;-) .

    I' trying to 12 3X6 inc cutted cells in series, so 12*1.8w = about 20 watt 6 volts 3.3A max (waiting cells). 

    I think you can have about 40 to 50 watts of cells.

    Gentle Lady's airfoil is not so superb (Clark Y style), you can't ruin it much more ;-P 

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