Introduction: Solar Powered R/C Drone

I made this drone as a research and as I simple weekend project so you can also try if you'll like it. I'm starting now a big drone project with two intelligent drones programmed by me and for this I need a much longer flight time than the casual drones can ensure for the user. To make this possible I had to make a little research about the drones and about batteries.

After some failed experiments I found a way to make a solar powered quadcopter. Gets its energy directly from the sun then charges up the built in battery and keeps charged even while flying. That is how I earned a very long flight time, more than 30 minutes.

Let me show you how to do it yourself!

Step 1: Gathering Tools and Materials

Here I am going to give you links to each part and component used in this project. I hacked my old Cheerson CS-10 quadcopter to get a flight controller, but in the links I'll show you only the needed component.

Tools:

  • Soldering Iron
  • Third Hand
  • Solder
  • Glue Gun

Materials:

  1. Cheerson CX-10 Flight Controller
  2. Cheerson Remote Controller
  3. 180mAh battery
  4. 5v 200mAh solar panel
  5. Strawbees (that is a toy that can help you to build object out of straws)
  6. Lithium-Ion Battery Charger
  7. 4 DC Motors
  8. 4 Propellers

Step 2: Building the Frame

Starws are strong and very light materials, its the perfect component to build a frame for a lightweight drone without 3D printing. As you see on the pictures with a glue gun it is very simple to build. Use two Strawbees to hold the motors and two straws to make a squere for the motors. But go and jump to the next step and install the motors first.

Step 3: Soldering to the Circuit...

First remove the wire from the end of the motors then plug the in into the Strawwbees. Now heat up your sooldering iron! We don't really need a schemantic and you don't even should have soldering skills, because on the circiut board at every motor's joining point is marked the positive with a "+" and the negative wire with a "-". Use these to solder your wires correctly to the circuit board.

Step 4: The Battery and Charging

Solder the Li-Poly battery to the main circuit then in paralell solder the charging circuit to it. The IN+ and IN- of the charging circuit have be soldered to the solar panel.

While soldering this simple electronics together you also need to make the frame. Use super glue or your glue gun to fix your frame.

Step 5: Finishing the Device

Use some glue to hold suit the solar panel on the frame then with some double sided tape you can put the electronics under the solar panel.

Step 6: Thank You for Watching!

I hope you guys liked my idea and my project. Thank you for watching!

Comments

author
jestermhon02 (author)2017-05-29

How much Us dollars does the parts costs

author
MechEngineerMike (author)2016-10-10

"Here I am going to give you links to each part and component used in this project." ... proceeded not to do that. -Please provide links

author

Not mentioned part is charger. Do a search "TP4056". Its (almost) one cell generic Li-Ion/Li-Po charger. Aliexpress or other asian sites would help you alot about this.

author
MrMasterQ (author)2016-10-03

Cool idea... I got to give this a try.

author
WannaDuino (author)MrMasterQ2016-11-20

dont its impossible

author
WannaDuino (author)2016-11-20

No video so NO PROOF. and really, impossible.(please let me wrong) HMMMM

and people ask you for months.

Naaah, i don't believe you. its impossible. its an 180 Mah, battery

you say you have a 5V 200mAh solar/ the solar gifs ONLY AT FULL OWER OF THE SUN 5V 200mAh, and that's impossible. also with that mAh, you don't get it to run for 30 minutes. the charging is like a trickle stage so if there is only a bit sun light it stops direct with charging,

sorry dude,

WannaDuino!!!

author
Ben Shamblin (author)2016-10-31

Bloody hell! 30 minutes? I would be surprised if mine flew for 3!

author
science-tech (author)2016-10-25

awesome project

author
amcgillivray (author)2016-10-18

Would love to see the video for the flight time

How much does it weight after you have put it all together?

author
bilal403 (author)2016-10-13

plz share the link of this quad video

author
Hey Jude (author)2016-10-10

Great Project!
Out of interest - you get 30mins on a sunny day, how long without the sun-power (i.e. just a fully charged LiPo)? Kinda curious to know how much 'real-time top-up' power you are getting...

VOTED =)

author
JpsManCave (author)2016-10-10

How did it fly? i know those small quads are picky with weight.

author
milindchitale (author)2016-10-10

great work, wish you success!!

author

jelous again.Nice bro!!

author

JELOUS OF YOU AGAINNN.GOOD JOB BRUH!!!

author
dlynch02132 (author)2016-10-06

If this works, congrats to you, gf. Also, wouldn't it be cool to see it flying in bursts of energy from capacitors, like when you use the raccoon suit in Mario or when you do jumps in Super Smash Bros.

author
oakleygear (author)2016-10-05

can we see a video of it in action?

author
tisaconundrum (author)2016-10-04

I await the testing phase

About This Instructable

12,296views

193favorites

License:

Bio: Hi, I'm Tamas (Thomas), a 17 years old Hungarian guy. My hobby started more than 10 years ago. I learn electronics, physics, programming, IoT ... More »
More by Imetomi:DIY Cheap VR FPV System for Drones, Planes, CarsUltimate Intelligent Fully Automatic Drone Robot (w/ RPi, Arduino) Jedi Force Gestures Based Home Automation (with Smartwatch)
Add instructable to: