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Solar Panel Dual Axis Sun Tracker Arduino  RSS feed

 
Posts: 55
Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
homestead solar wood heat
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It's been a while in development but I finally completed this project.

 
Posts: 347
Location: Michigan
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Would you describe the device? Some of us are remote and data can be an issue operating wireless. Plus text is rich in character.

Looks like a neat project for tinkering. Automation and control is also a great homeschool topic for kids and adults alike.
 
Steve Shelton
Posts: 55
Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
homestead solar wood heat
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frank li wrote:Would you describe the device? Some of us are remote and data can be an issue operating wireless. Plus text is rich in character.

Looks like a neat project for tinkering. Automation and control is also a great homeschool topic for kids and adults alike.



- The 2 axis are the daily east to west tracking of the sun
and the seasonal north to south tracking of the suns elevation
- uses a date and time chip (DS3231) that has a battery backup
- has 2 12v, 5 amp actuators to effect the movements
- The actuators have built-in stop switches to prevent over movement of the panels
For the daily east to west tracking:
- adjustments are made every month to account for the various sunrise and sunset times
- it allows the sun to rise about 25% of the total daylight time before it begins its movements.
- within that timeframe, it moves 20 times at even intervals, each move is 1/20th of the total movement time
- at the end of the day, it waits until after midnight, moves back to the start of day position, and waits for the start time to repeat the process
- For the seasonal north to south tracking:
- twice a month, on the 1st and 15th, it moves 1/12th of the tracking distance
- for months January through June, it moves UP or TO THE NORTH as the sun's path gets higher in the sky
- for months July through December, it moves DOWN or TO THE SOUTH as the sun's path gets lower in the sky

Solar Panel Array
- 4 - 310w panels, 1240 watts total
- Outback Grid Tie Inverter with battery backup
- The panels charge the battery bank Midnite Solar Charge Controller
- When the batteries reach a predetermined charge level, the inverter begins "selling" electricity back to the power company
- 24-volt battery bank
- 8 - 6-volt batteries 225ah each, 1800ah total
- Added an emergency sub-panel that is connected to the inverter
- The inverter automatically detects when the grid is down and automatically switches over to the battery bank - the lights don't even blink
- EMP backup of charge controller and inverter are stored in a faraday cage
 
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