Our project is an electricity collecting drone called TEDrone. TEDrone is a drone that is used to collect electricity through solar, wind, hydroelectric, and lightning. Our drone is environmentally friendly because it uses all renewable energy sources. We plan to use a lightning rod to capture electricity, then store the electricity in high storage capacitors. These capacitors need a total storage of about 750 to 1000 farads. This would hold about 150 to 200 bolts of average sized bolts of lightning. Each bolt of
lightning is about 5 coulombs, but some strikes can reach 350 coulombs (1 coulomb = 1 farad). We have hydroelectric, wind, and solar on board to power the drones high power propellers, which allow it to fly into the storm cloud. If 2 bolts of opposite charged lightning hit the same rod, they will cancel out, so you don’t get any electricity. To solve this, we have 2 separate rods, each with a slight positive or negative charge. Because opposites attract, the lightning will more likely be attracted to the rod with the slight opposite charge, therefore decreasing the risk of 2 opposite lightning bolts canceling each other out. Our drone will use a GPS to navigate its way home. It will surround itself with a magnetic field to detect if there is a storm cloud with lightning in it. This is because lightning has a slight charge, and there will be a slight shift in the magnetic field. TEDrone will be able to pick this change up, and will move in the direction that the shift came from. We will also use radar to look for incoming drones, airplanes, and helicopters. We To prevent the drone from exploding from electrical overload, we will give it a carbon fiber nanotube shell to keep it lightweight and flexible. We will then cover the craft with a copper mesh to ground the lightning if it doesn't hit a desired spot (the lightning rods). Our drone will be about 1.5 meters in diameter. It will fly at about 60 mph.
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