Solar energy is coming up as a major source of energy. The need of the hour is renewable energy resources with cheap running costs. With the current systems for solar energy harvesting, we have high production only at fixed times mostly noon. This project proposes a dual axis solar tracker system that increases the productivity by a significant margin.
The angle of inclination ranges between -90° after sun rise and +90° before sunset passing with 0° at noon. This makes the collected solar radiation to be 0% at sunrise and sunset and 100% at noon. This variation of solar radiations collection leads the photovoltaic panel to lose more than 40% of the collected energy. In this project, we take you through designing a Solar tracker so that you maximise on the solar energy collection.
Designing the Dual Axis Solar Tracker system
This system requires involvement of a wide range of engineering including mechanical electrical and electronics. The system can be broken down into these three domains as well.
The mechanical part would involve designing a smooth gear system to move as per requirement. The electrical part would be the working of solar panel and battery requirement. The electronics would involve designing the sensor system that would generate commands for the gear system to act accordingly.
Electronics component list:
|1||Transformer step down 12-0-12||1|
|2||Voltage Regulator 7805||1|
|7||Light dependent resistors (LDR)||4|
|9||Motor driver uln2003a||2|
|10||Solar Panel (all black)||1|
|11||Unipolar stepper motor||2|
|12||Crystal oscillator 12 Mhz||1|
The system employs spur gear for the implementation of the dual axis solar tracker.
A spur gear is a simplest type of gear and can be seen a lot of applications including clocks and escalators. It consists of teeth protruding perpendicular to the circumference of the wheel.
For the dual axis rotation we propose the arrangement mentioned in the diagram below.
The system is implemented using Atmel IC AT89C51. The circuit design for the system would be:
Dual Axis Solar Tracker project is to provide an efficient solar distributed generation system. At maximum, the solar tracker is perpendicular to the light source. The built system has a calculated annual energy gain of 48.982% compared to an immobile solar panel. Compared to a single axis tracker, the dual-axis tracker has an annual energy gain of 36.504%.
The purpose of a solar tracker is to accurately determine the position of the sun. This enables solar panels interfaced to the tracker to obtain the maximum solar radiation. With this particular solar tracker a closed-loop system was made consisting of an electrical system and a mechanical system with the help of electronics.
Feel interested? Check out other electronics projects.