This is an electric paraglider project I started in the spring 2016. The idea behind the project is not a traditional paramotor but a system designed as an alternative to towing. The equipment must be light, simple and used with common XC paragliding equipment. That's why I have chosen direct drive. Although a gear with a larger propeller would be more efficient. The only modifications made is some snap locks to latch the motor and batteries to the harness. So far, the project is a proof of concept. Eventually I will make a folding propellar system. I have already designed it. But more on that later.
Here are some concept drawings made before anything was built:
Everything is designed in Autodesk Inventor. The back mount is built in plywood. The system to hook it on the harness is now ready for the motor and ESC. Connectors, wires etc. has arrived. Motor and ESC are in the mail.
Front Container for batteries made of a modified bicycle bag with room for 8 batteries. I also made a mobile power station to recharge the batteries. I have now ordered 3 more chargers so I can charge all 6 batteries at once. With approximately 20% capacity remaining, it will take about 2.5 hours to fully charge all batteries.
Motor and ESC finally arrived. Two hours in the workshop and everything was mounted.
Servo tester modification:
When using a motor and a speed controller we need some way to regulate the amount of throttle used. We are not planning to control the motor wirelessly so we are going to use a servo tester connected to some kinde of throttle. In my case a "Thumb throttle". If your ESC does not have UBEC you must connect a power source (eg. an SBEC unit).
- Disassemble the servo tester.
- Desolder the potentiometer (see fig. 2).
- Solder a jump wire across the 2 terminals of the servo tester (see fig. 3).
If you choose to fit a 3 pin JR plug to the throttle wire, then you MUST ensure that the modified servo tester is secured with electrical tape or similar so that it cannot accidently loose connection. This could result with the motor being activated continuously, hence the reason for a Power/Kill Switch.
The first test had to be terminated. Motor suspension is way too soft. At just half power everything feels dangerously wobbly. I have to figure out a solution or completely drop the 4 small rubber dampers.
Motor suspension redesigned. I have completely removed the small rubber mounts on the motor. I did see some small cracks in the wood spacer. There are many forces at play so I chose to saw it off and mounted 30x30 cm rubber suspension instead. I think i won a lot with these changes. The whole thing is much stiffer now and the konstuktionen is more simple. Finally I completed the first successful test (see video below).
The project is paused. This setup does not provide the required trust. I therefore set out to design a gear system so I can lower the RPM and increase the prop size. The goal is now to use a more traditional paramotor propeller. Unfortunately, it also means that the original concept has changed. Instead of designing an alternative to towing, this project is now a more traditional electric paramotor project.