Introduction: Solar Powered RC Car

Hi guys,

this is a fun conversion project for an old RC car. I used a Yokomo BD7 chassis, but you can use any other chassis available to you. After the conversion, your RC car will be powered by the sun. It won't be a fast racing car, but it will work!

In addition you need

  • solar panels: you should aim for 18-20Watt. I bought 6x 3Watt solar panels. You can get them at Gearbest or Banggood. Don't buy a large single aluminium framed, glass covered panel - it is too heavy.
  • styrofoam board: it has to be large and thick enough to carry all panels
  • capacitor: I went for 16V capacitors, which provide enough headroom for the planed 12V solar panel output. You can get them cheaply here.
  • brushless motor:the power output of the solar panels is too weak for a standard 540 brushed or brushless motor. Therefore, I used a smaller spare brushless motor from a quadcopter (Emaxx 2215) to save money.
  • brushless esc: I used an old 30W brushless flight ESC.

Step 1: Connecting the Solar Panels

  • If you buy 6 solar panels like me, make a 3x2 layout. Remember, our goal is a 12V output
  • If your solar panels have 12V output, connect them in series
  • If your solar panels have 6V output, connect 3 in series and then both in parallel.
  • you can find more information in this instructable
  • glue the solar panels on your styrofoam board

Step 2: Install Capacitors

  • Install the capacitors to ensure constant power. You have to connect the plus pole of the capacitors to the plus wire from your solar panels (and minus to minus).
  • You can mount the capacitors on your styrofoam board.

Step 3: Install Electronics

  • Install the radio equipment. To be on the save side, power your receiver with an extra battery. It ensures, that your RC car stays maneuverable even when it gets too cloudy.
  • The solar panel output has to go to the brushless ESC. Again, connect the plus wire to the plus input of the ESC (and minus to minus).
  • Mount the brushless motor. Use a rather small pinion to save power.

Step 4: Have Fun!

You are finished! Congrats and enjoy!