Tracking Solar Concentrators: A Low Budget Solution by Zafrullah Jagoo

By Zafrullah Jagoo

Harnessing a large number of complementary eco-friendly strength assets is the single believable method to fulfill the power calls for of a grasping worldwide economic system. the opportunity of solar power (being the main considerable) in pleasurable a part of the strength requisites of mankind is great and constitutes the point of interest of this booklet. A self-powered sunlight tracker that issues at once in the direction of the solar by way of an built-in keep watch over mechanism with levels of rotational freedom was once studied and constructed. The electro-mechanical keep an eye on method relies on a precisely-timed microcontroller circuit that first computes the altitude and azimuth of the sunlight in real-time after which drives a couple of stepper cars that steer the sun tracker in the direction of it. A in the community equipped fibre-glass parabolic dish, the outside of that's coated with a reflective vinyl reflect movie, serves to pay attention sunlight rays on its surface.

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Single-axis trackers are unable to follow the sun with absolute accuracy due to the seasonal variation of the tilt of the earth’s equatorial plane with respect to the earth’s orbital plane. Due to the presence of two degrees of rotational freedom, dual-axes trackers are capable of perfect alignment with the sun at all times, giving optimal performance year-round. However, if we examine them in a mechanical way and taking into consideration Murphys law that “if anything can go wrong, it will”, then it is possible that at some random time, the system stops abruptly.

These operating conditions imply that the system electronics should operate on battery power. To ascertain that the sun is followed during daytime, two motors have to be placed perpendicular to each other. One motor oriented vertically will make the whole system rotate in the x–y plane while the other independent motor (pointing horizontally) will make part of the system rotate in the r –z plane. Additionally, to reduce the extent of human intervention, a small solar PV unit is deemed necessary to replenish the batteries continuously during daytime.

2 Operating Principles of Solar Trackers 21 Fig. 4 Equatorial mount (in winter) the tracker activates a limit switch which orders the microcontroller to bring the tracker back to default night-time position. At this stage, a timer is activated so that the mechanism is triggered back into action the following morning from a starting position that is set through the use of another limit switch. The range of angular motion can be adjusted by modifying the location of the limit switches. In the months of summer, the limiting range can be longer compared to that in winter (Barsoum 2011; Mousazadeh et al.

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