Solar Biplane.

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by Vic Balshaw, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Something quick and easy given to me as a fun birthday present and yes, the prop does work from the solar panel. I think it's kind of cute.

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  2. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Colorful as well. I know that the U.S. had some pretty colorful aircraft at the end of or just after the WWI. I can see strafing runs on the family pets or the missus now.




    Geo
     
  3. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    Do they do a rain powered version for Terry and I ?
     
  4. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    I was having the same thought myself when chucking this together, more to the point that it would be no good taking it to Manchester.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That would be cool, a solar powered biplane where the wings are solar panels.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    It'd be no ****ing good at all in Macclesfield !!!
     
  7. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    That's a fun little project, Vic!

    I actually still have a couple balsa wood gliders sitting on the shelf, a biplane and a "jet". Kids nowdays just don't know the joys of a good toy glider!
     
  9. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    #9 mikewint, Oct 16, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
    Just doing a bit of calculating

    All Electric Motors have a start up surge. It is normally 3 to 7 times what it takes to run the motor. So a battery bank is required to start the motor. A charge controller is required to charge the batteries correctly.

    It takes 746W to run a 1hp motor (at 100% efficiency) you will need an inverter that would be able to surge to 5000 watts worse case. Most inverters only surge about double what they are rated at so a 2,500 or 3,000 watt inverter would be required. Inverters are only about 90 to 93% efficient.

    The norm for solar modules is to output about 80% of what they are rated because of heat and wire and voltage loss. Then going through the charge controller you would loose about 10% more. Remember there is a battery charging loss as well.

    Anyway, you would have to have about 970 watts to 1000 watts in panels just to keep the motor running without putting back the power you pulled from the battery bank to start the motor.

    So for a 1hp motor you’d need a 1.5 kWh system with a 3000 watt inverter.

    Now for the solar panel itself, monocrystaline panels are generally the most efficient at 22 -23% efficiency. A 7sq ft panel will produce 100W so you will need 15 of these panels or 105 sq ft of panels, roughly $500 per panel so $7500 for the panels. Additionally each one weighs 16.5lbs so 248lbs of panels.

    The Sopwith was built with several engines. The smallest was 100hp so everything above times 100 so 1500 panels – 10,500sq ft - $750,000 and lastly 24,800lbs to lift
     
  10. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nicely done Vic!
     
  11. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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  12. at6

    at6 Well-Known Member

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    Now if it will taxi across the room I would consider one.
     
  13. Bustedwing

    Bustedwing Member

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    What a riot ! I'de love to get one, probably last forever too considering it would only work for two and a half months here on Canada's left coast !
     
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