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Old 04-05-2011, 09:06 PM
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Question dual axis solar tracker

i have decided to make a project on dual axis solar tracker but my group has decided not to use LDRs or any type of sensors. instead we have decided to make it time controlled using a 555 timer and microcontroller. can any one please help me out with the circuit diagram for the same because i have zero clue about electronics....
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:15 PM
mbxs3 mbxs3 is offline
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Hi. I am curious as to why your group decided to not use sensors. I would think sensors would provide the capability of collecting the most sunlight at all times. Is it a project stipulation or is the 555 and microcontroller supposed to be more accurate? Just wondering, I want to build a similar project in the near future so I am gathering all the information I can.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:33 PM
hobbyist hobbyist is offline
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With no sensors, then your not tracking solar light, per say, but rather you need to program the microcontroller to track the suns path across the sky.

Such as a telescope does to track the stars. (Atizmuth tracking) I think.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:25 PM
mbxs3 mbxs3 is offline
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I think one issue you would run into using a timing system would be if you plan on using the system in different locations. You would have to reprogram the system to account for geographical changes.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:52 PM
wayneh wayneh is online now
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Telescope-type tracking is indeed what you need. It's just a clock with your panels as the hour hand. You need 360 of rotation every 24hrs. Rotation is about an axis pointed at the north star, as appropriate for your latitude.

Of course for telescopes and solar panels you don't usually need more than 180 of rotation, generally much less. But you need some way to reset the position until the sun comes back around in the morning.

If you want to adjust for seasonal variation in sun position, you need adjustment around another axis perpendicular to the main (daily). Without sensors, I think you'd have to adjust this one manually. Clock mechanisms have been developed for all of this, but it's complex.
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