Solar Powered R/C Drone

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Introduction: Solar Powered R/C Drone

About: Hi, I'm Tamas (Thomas), a 19 years old Hungarian guy. My hobby started more than 10 years ago. I learn electronics, physics, programming, IoT and I'm sharing my projects with you, hope you like it!

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!

Solar Contest 2016

Third Prize in the
Solar Contest 2016

Drones Contest 2016

Second Prize in the
Drones Contest 2016

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    22 Discussions

    I have a drone that has a 2x370mah 3.7v battery...so it's a 2 in one kinda thing...is there any chance I can have that solar powered? Some kind of a small solar panel that has a high output?

    Where did you buy the motor and propeller? Do you have model number for motor and propeller?

    0
    None
    UnoA3

    8 months ago

    No video until now? nah, i wouldn't even try this one. better find another one with proof

    How much Us dollars does the parts costs

    "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

    1 reply

    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.

    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!!!

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

    Would love to see the video for the flight time

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

    plz share the link of this quad video

    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 =)

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

    great work, wish you success!!

    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.