I'm in the process of building a solar powered remote controlled airplane. My general idea was that I have 5V from the solar panels powering the receiver, the ESC, two servos and a brushless motor. If the voltage of the solar cells falls beneeth 3.7V, my 1S-LiPo-battery takes over.

For this I found the «Mini Solar/Lipo Charger v1.0» from Elecrow which apparently exactly does the trick of being a switch and at the same time charging the LiPo with the power from the solar cell input.

So before I start to tab all solar panels I wanted to do a test run and see if all my chosen components get enough power with the 3.7V-LiPo.

After I hooked everything together and as a last step plugged in the LiPo at the LiPo-socket on the Elecrow-Board, the board smoked :-(

I don't know exactly where to start to find out what I'm doing wrong.

I attached a picture of my setup (without the solar cells).

Thank you very much for you help!

Setup of components used for solar powered rc airplane


In addition to what Dave mentioned, you currently have your positive line from your ESC hooked to the negative output of your charge controller, another possible reason the board smoked.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh boy! You're right, thanks! I screwed up there. I just looked at the cable colors and assumed I have them in order. \$\endgroup\$ – M-832 Jun 10 '19 at 13:10

Right on the page you linked, it says:

Charge and discharge can not be greater than 1A, otherwise it will burn the components

Clearly, this board was designed for low-power sensor applications, not high-power electric airplanes.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, Dave. I was aware of that during the design and I felt it was sufficient. The LiPo I'm using delivers 350mAh at 3.7V, so therefore I should only stress the board with 0.35A, or am I getting this wrong? \$\endgroup\$ – M-832 Jun 10 '19 at 13:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ The battery might be rated at 350 mA, but that does NOT mean that it will automatically limit the current to that value. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Jun 10 '19 at 13:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right, Dave. I just took a closer look at my LiPo. It's a 30/60C, 3.7V with 250mAh. So if I calculate this correctly it outputs 7.5A (and 15A when bursting)... That would explain why it fried the board. \$\endgroup\$ – M-832 Jun 10 '19 at 13:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.