Comparing our prototypes with Paul has shown that the main difference between the two systems is the way in which the energy of the batteries is distributed to the escs/motors.
Since my English is not the best I made a scheme to explain it better.
The most interesting things to me are the handling of the inconveniences.
If a cell is at risk of undervoltage:
With the DISTRIBUTED system you can’t do anything else but choose to continue flying by permanently killing the cell or stopping ALL motors.
With the SEPARATE system it is possible to stop only that motor in order not to damage the cell and continue to fly
If a motor or esc breaks down:
With the DISTRIBUTED system the energy of the batteries is distribuited on all the other motors, so in theory no range is lost.
With the SEPARATE system it is impossible to use the residual energy in the non used batteries so the range is reduced by 1/4.
Of course all this if there is software that will handle the inconveniences, perhaps at two levels, if the inconvenience is harmful only to the bank account (undervoltage batteries, esc burned) the software warns the pilot. If it can be dangerous for the life of the pilot(overheating batteries), it acts by limiting or cut power to the single sector of interest.
I try to summarize the pros and cons that come to my mind:
- If a motor fails the autonomy remains unchanged (theoretically)
- You can decide how many batteries (and therefore weight) to fly without major changes to the battery pack
- It is possible to connect the system with a single switch / connector
- If only one cell fails, you must land
- Longer cables
- If a cell fails, you can continue to fly
- you must add each connector / switch for 4
Do you come up against other pros and cons? For now I prefer the separate management, but I can not figure out which of the 2 systems is more redundant. I think a problem with the ESC or the motor if well sized is very rare. On the other hand, practically every flight happens that one cell is discharged before the others.
What do you think? Feel free to add pros and cons.