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How about a landing / charging pad for UAV operations?

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by simo21, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. simo21

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm working at Skysense and we are developing wireless charging pad for commercial drones. During christmas we've been discussing a lot about a consumer version of our pad. (see below)

    We think that I can be useful mostly in FPV operations, maybe fully automated ones. But I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Do you think that can be useful in your flying operation? If so how would you use it?

    If you're curious about us, feel free to check our website and signup here, for updates.

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  2. George L.

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    Can it work with an Inspire? If so I am very interested.
     
  3. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    No!
    Wireless (or inductive charging) is both inefficient and pretty useless as far as large capacity Lithium Polymer batteries are concerned. Keep it for the toothbrushes!
    For it to be of any use you would want to charge the packs at circa 1c or around 5700mah for a TB48.
    To do that inductively would not only take a rediculous amount of energy but it would also cost more money every time a battery was charged and generate more heat which means wasted energy. It takes longer to charge (pointless for a UAV to be on the ground/charging station) and you will be limited to charging the pack that is in the UAV. It would have to sit there for hours when you could just change the pack over and be in the air again in seconds.
    Additionally, assuming you land on your 'charging station' your pack/s will still be warm from flight - do you really want to destroy them by putting them straight into inductive charge before cooled to ambient ?

    Even wireless/inductive charging for cell phones is useless and takes longer than plugging the things in. It takes three times as long and generates heat which is the enemy of rechargeable batteries.
    The fact of the matter is it is just hugely more efficient to transmit energy down a wire.

    Can it be done? Yes of course it can. Is as efficient as plugging a battery in? No way.
    Does it cost more money per pack charged versus conventional charging? Oh yes!
    Does it have uses? Yes probably for the likes of Amazon or DHL who will have thousands of UAV's and be able to circulate use whilst the others are cooling/recharging. As well as offset the cost of replacement batteries at shorter intervals and the higher power costs of charging - these will be passed onto the customer.

    I wouldn't want to be anywhere near a system that is pumping out that much inductive energy thank you!
     
  4. George L.

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  5. emtea

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    My question is why would anyone want to wirelessly charge a drone? Like Editor said, to get any kind of real charging speed, you'll need some serious power. Why not just swap the battery? If we're talking commercial applications, I bet you're better off creating some kind of automated rig where the drone lands and some robots change the batteries out.
     
  6. George L.

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    That kind of rig would be much more complicated and potentially harmful to the drone. With the charging pad, which has already been invented (Products) it doesn't need to land in an exact spot to initiate the charge.
    Plus, I only need to charge the battery once a day. The drone only needs to fly once a day.
    My problem right now is developing the software to tell the power from the solar panels to stop charging the system battery and pad when it is full.

    Any ideas?