Game of Drones!

by Ben N on June 26, 2017

I’ve been wanting to get some video of the garage solar panels from a drone. However, I don’t own one, so I just threw out on social media “Hey, anyone have a drone they could bring over?”

My friend, Teng, who I know through Drive Smart Wisconsin (originally Milwaukee Hybrid Group) said that his brother had one and that he’d bring it over.

IMG_5428Teng stopped out in his bright blue 2017 (Gen 2) Chevy Volt, so we got his car plugged in right away to suck up some solar electrons while he was here. Unfortunately, the weather quickly turned windy and cloudy. The solar panels still make power (although not as much) when it’s cloudy outside, but it certainly didn’t make for good photography.

We did snap a few photos of our cars in front of the garage when the sun did peak out, but the wind certainly made it hard to get good video footage. Also, neither of us really had experience flying a drone before, and on top of that, the auto-focus didn’t always work right!

So, we really didn’t get too many good video clips from the drone, but it was still plenty of fun and a good experience.

I also hadn’t driven a second generation Volt yet, so we got to go out for a ride, with me driving, and the Wife and the Little Girl both piled in the back seat. The Little Girl commented that the car “smells like Jenna’s van”. I had to let her know that’s what people often call the “New Car Smell”!

IMG_5447We went for a spin, and I easily got over 100 MPGe, without even trying. I also tried the adaptive cruise control. It’s a strange feeling letting a machine adjust the speed on the freeway automatically like that, but it works great. Overall, the gen 2 Volt is a very nice car.

While at my house, we put about 5 kWh of power into the Volt. Teng had plugged in to my NEMA 14-50 wall jack with an adapter, running the portable “Level 1″ EVSE on 240 volts. That 5 kWh of energy is worth about 20 miles of all electric travel and let Teng drive back home on all electric with a few miles to spare.

Flying the drone may have been somewhat of a bust, but it’s always nice to see friends and take cars out for test drives!

Until next time, stay charged up!

-Ben

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