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The Projects Forum Working on an electronics project and would like some suggestions, help or critiques? If you would like to comment or assist others with their projects, this is the place to do it.

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  #1  
Old 07-18-2011, 07:56 PM
kevinng kevinng is offline
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Default need HELP on dual axis solar tracker

Hi everyone, please help me, I`m an electrical engineering student, I need to build a dual axis solar tracker within a weeks. I need to build it to turn horizontally and vertically, the sensors will track the sun then the NE555 will be the servo controller. I plan to use the components as shown below :

1. Servo Motor
2. NE555 IC
3. 4 LDR
4. belt
5. solar panel
6. resistors and capacitors

but I have no idea how to connect all of these together, I search some information on google, but there's no circuit that match with what i want.. Can anyone just please help me to connect all of these together?

actually, what's the different of DC servo and servo??
by using NE555 IC, i need to make it to astable so that it can control the servo, right?

is this the astable control circuit?


The last page of this PDF file, is it just that simple to build the control to the servo??
file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/User/Desktop/Destop/final%20year%20project/circuit/erii5_555_timer_astable_operation.pdf
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:37 PM
wayneh wayneh is online now
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Just one motor, but both axes? Could be tricky. You know that if you point one axis at the north pole, the panel will revolve only about that one axis during a day (like a telescope on an equatorial mount)? You could adjust that axis as infrequently as once a week and still have good accuracy.

One challenge is how to arrange the LDR sensors so that their signals can be translated into a useful instruction. Are you not allowed to use transistors?
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:23 AM
kevinng kevinng is offline
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sorry, it should be 2 motors. No, I can use what ever that I manage to get, as long as I can show the tracking system.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:18 AM
wayneh wayneh is online now
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Search this forum for "solar tracking" or whatever other keywords you can think of. I know I've seen a lot here on the topic.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:53 PM
John P John P is offline
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Do you really want to use a hobby servo? They're designed to move a light load quickly. If your solar panels have any mass to them, the servo won't be able to move the unit, and you'll have a hard time making a mechanical structure that links the two together; especially as you plan to have 2 axes.

But if there aren't any solar cells, just sensors, then it should be OK, but the motion will be fast and jerky.

But I'm not sure that this is a job for a servo of that kind anyway. If you have an off-centered location relative to the sun, wouldn't you want to run a motor until you've centered it again? What a hobby servo would do is to run the output to a particular location depending on the electrical input--it wouldn't be "correcting an error" by re-centering the sensors. I think what you really want is a pair of small motors with a large gear ratio, and simply an amplifier that drives forward or reverse until the sun is seen to be on center. That would in fact be a "servomechanism" in the classic sense.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:03 PM
wayneh wayneh is online now
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Yeah, just for comparison, a telescope drive is simply a clock giving one complete revolution every 24 hrs. The fact that you need 360 in 24 hrs allows you to pre-program that into a mechanical system, and use the sensors as just a way to make minor corrections.
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  #7  
Old 07-19-2011, 10:28 PM
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Kermit2 Kermit2 is offline
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http://www.brighthub.com/environment...6/image/89336/
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I'm too old.
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  #8  
Old 07-20-2011, 01:53 PM
kevinng kevinng is offline
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i searched on the internet, on the internet, they said NE555 is not very suitable for applying on solar tracker. well, i really have no idea about what component should i really use..
so, servo motor is not suitable, then what about stepper motor? if i`m going to use stepper motor, then what control system should i build?
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:55 PM
kevinng kevinng is offline
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can anyone please tell me what circuit is this for?
http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/at...1&d=1277556302

and also this
file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/User/Desktop/httpi13.photobucket.comalbumsa286L1am2Windowcomp17 dec.jpg

i saw it on internet, but i`m confuse with the different kind of circuits..
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2011, 02:50 PM
wayneh wayneh is online now
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That first link is too small to really tell, although it's using transistors to turn a motor on and off.

The second link is to a file on your hard drive.
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