Solar Charging Station
The popularity of the charging station continued to grow during the 2021 season. More flyers added 6s planes to their fleet, including a variety of EDF jets. We had not anticipate the growing frequency of high demand situations, and witnessed voltage drops from the battery bank as a consequence. Paul Czarnecki volunteered to conduct an analysis of our current charging station, and upgrade scenarios. He concluded the need for a fourth battery and additional solar changing capacity to provide sufficient voltages needed to support recurring 7 x 6s charges. The LoveAir RC Board of Directors has agreed to a maximized expansion of the charging station by adding two additional solar panels (four total) and adding a fourth AGM battery. In addition to the panels and battery, the upgrade will require a second mounting rack for the panels and assorted cables. Carl Beisel will again lead this effort, with the upgrade occurring in April 2022.
In 2020, the station's second season experienced increased demand from our electric fliers. This was especially true for the growing number of larger and power hungry planes requiring 6S batteries. Given the increased demand for higher amp charging, six of our LoveAir RC members generously elected to contribute towards the purchase of a third battery for our battery bank. The new battery was installed and an immediate improvement was noted. The days power needs were expanded, allowing up to five 6S batteries to be concurrently charged. We'll see how the 2021 season works out with the third battery.
In the fall of 2018, the LoveAir RC Board of Directors approved a preliminary design and budget for a solar charging station. A team of volunteers was assigned to the project led by Carl Beisel - system design, prep and installation; Rich Perry - charging shelf installation; Michael Tillotson - charging rail and solar panel installation; Jim Goins - CONEX preparation. Special thanks to Fred Smith for providing design validation and installation help, to Greg Vaillancourt for helping with the charging panel installation, and to various other club members for stepping in and providing a helping hand.
On May 18th, 2019, the charging station was completed.
View our solar charging station design:
Charging Station Use:
1) Turn ON power - the volt meter should be lit and have a reading above 12v
2) Open Charger Port Cover using tab on lower right corner
3) With care, attach battery charger connectors - Red Pos (+), Black Neg (-)
4) Charge battery per normal settings
5) When finished, carefully remove charger connectors and close Charger Port Cover
6) Turn OFF power!!
7) Double check all Charger Port Covers are closed and power is OFF!
Preparing and Installing the Charging Rail (6 outlets with 2 charging ports each)
Preparing and Installing the Charge Controller Panel and Battery Bank
(200 amp hours available with batteries alone)
Power is ON (Turn OFF when not in use!) and Charging Shelf (8' x 16")
Installing Solar Panels and Wrapping up (2 x 310 watt solar panels)