There was a point where it was necessary to extend the range of the heavy-lifting drones. As gasoline has almost eight times the energy density of current lithium-polymer batteries, it would be necessary if we had to fly for more than 35 minutes. However, current gas generators on the market that produce enough power for such large drones weigh on the order of hundreds of pounds.
I got around this by using lightweight aircraft engines, which drive a Halbach brushless motor to achieve an overall energy density of over 700 watts per pound. The three-phase motor outputs are then fed to a three-phase bridge rectifier and smoothing circuit to steadily produce 72VDC. The large generator weighs 35 pounds and produces 25kW of power, while the smaller one weighs 10 pounds and produces 5kW of power.
- Project Started: December 2016
- Project Completed: June 2017
- Prototypes: 3
- Estimated Total Build Time: 125hrs
- Current Status: Project Archived