How much more battery life do you get by adding solar panels to your quad?
The setup: (I used a lot of Ian's design for the frame)
2200 MAH LiPo Battery
15x5.5" Carbon Blades
20 Amp Afro ESC (love the hair)
RCTimer 5010 - 360Kv motors
12mm x 600mm Carbon tubes
2000 Microfarad capacitor
3 Amp Diode
20 Powerfilm RC flexible solar panels
I tried to keep everything as light as possible. The frame is carbon, the solar cells rest on Dollar Tree foam boards.
Each wing has 5 solar panels (7.2 volt / 100 Miliamp) arranged in parallel (7.2 volt / 500 Miliamp total)
I hooked 2 pair of wings in series (14.4 volt) then connected each pair in parallel (1000 Miliamp).
I placed a Diode to the end of the circuit to prevent the battery from feeding the solar array.
I connected the solar array in parallel to the battery so it could assist with the amps needed, then charge the battery a bit while sitting on the ground while I made adjustments.
I will continue to work on these experiments but from my initial research there is too much surface area on the solar array. Gains made in extra amps were diminished by the extra power required to keep the drone in place against the wind.
I landed the drone several times for tweaks and checkups. The solar cells really came into play then. It would charge the battery about 0.5 volts each time it landed (it sat in the sun about 15min).
Digital Wings Drones