Solar Questions? Post here and i'll ask my professor and post back answers :)

Turns out a professor friend of mine is BIG into solar. We spent a good 40 minutes talking about it in his office today and flight and stuff.. If you have any questions on Thin Film solar, i will tryo to ask him when i see him again next week. Also, he will be giving me names of a few people who own companies that he knows, so yeah, we might get a discount or two versus buying outright. It's about 100+ for the goods per unit, so this isn't exactly a cheap endeavour, but for an exhaustive flight, it would be a nice thing to have.

Thus far....

we should get 8watts of power per square meter of thin film in a realistic setting. This is for electric planes, obviously. He also suggested compressed air engines? I don't know. my carbon fiber bottles for paintball are light, but i don't think they are THAT light...then again...battery weight...


And please, no flaming or arguing...i'm only trying to help. You can politely disagree, and state your sources on why, but i would rather help than argue moot points. :)

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with he sun directly overhead you should get appx 150W/m^2. This number will fall quickly as the sun angle changes. The drop off is determined by the reflectivity and refraction of the surface coating or glass. This is probably for the low number of 8W/m^2.

There are universities out there claiming to print human tissues and full 3D organs also. I believe that they have thus far printed a heart valve. Saw this on the Science Channel about a month ago.
Very interesting information. I think the compressed air approach is really far too complex. Especially in the case of the high endurance aircraft - the loss of the system would outweight it's benefits. I think we're on the brink of having the technology to make this work. There is already a fellow working on building a plan that can carry a human, not suprisingly his project has not been completed yet, as the battery tech he needs does not exist yet.
There is a fascinating wrinkle in compressed air, and that is the use of heat to perpetually or dramatically sustain the operation. The compressed air cars can, apparently burn a fuel to improve air expansion, and thereby extend range. Warming things of course, is what solar does best, so I'm wondering if compressed air might not be a rational component of a solar plane.

There are issues though - specifically, the compressed air would be expanded at night without the benefit of the sun.
Hey man, sorry for the one month later reply.

You probably don't NEED a support structure...just use the plane and make sure to secure the edges and have a replaceable protective layer over it.

solar panels, eps thin films can come in any shape you want. You can actually cut it to what ever shape you want, but you will have set up limitations (parrallel versus series)
look up torpedos that the japs used in WWII. we just discussed this as second ago :). you have to heat up the air (start with air mixture, then go to O@, then heat it up as it comes out.

japs got 30 mile range out of their torps using that :)
-from the professor :)
Finals are over, i am finishing up a few projects (VMwaring my 8 core, 12gb ram server), i will be back to UAVs shortly

Alex, i dunno who you are yet, but we're friends now :). You answered everything...

Good find sami!

3d model printing has been out for a while, BUT, we've just gotten to the precision to make such things. Hehe soon we'll have something like out of the 5th Element...then we can finally build the perfect woman...

I wull be in touch with my professor soon again
I am taking my finals right now. I am a student at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (CalPoly) as a Aerospace Engineering major with astronautics concentration. Robotics and Green Technology are my side hobbies. Currently I am working on Solarizing my 400W Electric Scooter, CalPoly's Green Aviation Challenge Entry, and the Lunar Regolith Excavation Challenge ( I was at MakerFaire in San Mateo and did stop by the GeekDads' DIY Drones booth to ask about the new blimpduino.

Check out MakerBot for an open source 3D Printer. Printing Biological tissues are a little different than metals or plastics. Printing a woman...geeks fantasy,,,lol.
Did you ever get an answer to how much thin film solar weighs per square meter??

And 8 watts per square meter seems VERY low. Do you have any information on how much power one square meter will generate?

Please reply: Thanks!!

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