SOLAR LADY

 

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Reg Regester built this solar powered craft, the 'Solar Lady' in 1990.

 

The 'Solar Lady' has a wingspan of 96in, 12in chord and weighs 4 1/2 Lb. The wings are covered with clear laminating plastic film.

 

Power is derived from solar power cells in the following combination, 24 x 1.3 amp, 24 x 1/2 amp, 12 x 1 amp. They are connected in series/parallel for a total 30 Watts (10 volts at 3 amps or 5 volts at 6 amps). The cells normally charge the battery, but can be connected directly to the electric motor.

 

 

Reg Regester and his Solar Lady electric powered model plane

 

Reg Regester and his Solar Lady model plane

 

 

The electric motor is a geared 2.8:1 Graupner 600BB 8.4V driving a 12 x 10 in folding prop. The battery is made up of 5 x 2000 Mah Nicads.

 

The model is controlled with a Futaba 7 Ch Transmitter using rudder, elevator, electronic speed controller, and u/c switch to connect cells directly to the motor.

 

The speed controller supplies five volts for the receiver and servos, and has a re-settable low voltage cutout to the motor allowing for the motor to be used after the cells have topped up the battery.

 

The model has a few problems:

 

When the cells start producing power they heat up, this has the effect of reducing the terminal voltage and condensation forms on the inside of the wing covering material for a period of time.

 

Solar cells only supply full rated power at right angles to the sun, which is a bit hard to arrange when flying.

 

The cells are sixteen years old and are of a design that is only 12% efficient, and the model weight of 4 1/2 Lb does not help. The longest flight so far is 1 hr 45 min.

 

So, a few teething problems, but well done Reg. It's only by trying something out that you can improve upon it, and she look rather good by the way. NK

 

http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/modelers1.html

 

 

 

 

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This website is Copyright 1999 & 2013  NJK.   The bird logo and name Solar Navigator are trademarks. All rights reserved.  All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged.       Max Energy Limited is an educational charity.

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