Automatic Solar Tracking System

Discussion in 'Homework Help' started by Sle7in, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    Can anyone help me with my project...I really2 hope anybody can teach me to finish up my project...plzzzz
    I need to finish up this project within this 4 month...If not I'm gonna extend my study..sad..T_T

    I'm actually developing an automatic solar tracking system...
    anyone can check my work on the circuit because I'm don't really understand what I'm doing right now...not enough guidance...

    these are my schematic using Proteus...

    The Component use:

    555 Timer
    LDR (sensor) - sense the intensity of sunlight
    stepper motor


    I really don't have an idea how to use the stepper motor...which driver need to use...anyone can help me??



    I attach some files regarding my project...

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  2. beenthere

    beenthere Retired Moderator

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    Here is a link to information about stepper motors.

    You could help yourself by listing the functions of the device as a flowchart.

    Not everyone has Proteus, so schematics posted as image files work better.
  3. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    thanks beenthere...but I can't see the link...

    I attach some schematic and the details on the circuit operation regarding my project...can anyone check my circuit..is it ok or not...hope I can finish this part quickly because I want to move to the motor parts....can help me??

    Attached Files:

  4. beenthere

    beenthere Retired Moderator

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  5. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    that's my problem....
    I don't really familiar dealing with stepper motor...It also has its own driver...
    Basically, I plan to construct a solar tracking system with dual axis which means that it can rotate horizontally and vertically...so, I need 2 circuit for 555 timer which is for horizontal axis and the other one is for vertical axis....both of them only have one output because the 555 timer only provide 1 output only at pin 3..do you have any idea how to re-construct my circuit or do you prefer any other motor in order to match with my project???

    thanks beenthere...:)
  6. beenthere

    beenthere Retired Moderator

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    First you say you need a driver for a stepper, then you say there is a driver, but two steppers. That is confusing.

    Assuming there is a driver, what does it need for an input? How may a single input be used to control the tracker? Do you have specs on the various LDR's and have you simulated the LM555 with different ranges of resistance corresponding to different levels of light? Have you taken an LDR and a meter to see how it really does respond to sunlight?
  7. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    Sorry...
    I'm not really familiar with stepper motor..I've search it and I just know that the stepper motor need a driver in order to control it..correct me if I'm wrong...

    I just say that I plan to install 2 stepper motor..for controlling the direction..vertically and horizontally...I'm not saying there is a driver for 2 stepper motor...but, it's better for me to finish using 1 motor only right now..

    Actually I'm also confuse on how to sense the intensity of sunlight because I've search it and it mention that LDR is not quite good to use and it is better to use photodiode..am I right??

    Yes, I've simulate the circuit using various range of resistance and there is no output come out even though I vary the value of the LDR. That's why I need some guidance regarding my project...or if you have any idea to improve my project please tell me and teach me....Hope you are my saviour..^^
  8. bertus

    bertus Administrator Staff Member

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  9. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    thanks bertus...
    do you have any idea regarding my project???
    Is it possible to make it by using 555 timer and LDR??
    Is there any other motor that can be use which is more compatible to my solar tracker???easier to handle???
  10. bertus

    bertus Administrator Staff Member

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  11. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    ermmm...sori for lack of information before...I've google some project and I found the solar trakcer that I want to develop..It's just the same....this is the link

    http://electrofriends.com/projects/basic-electronics/automatic-solar-tracking-system-2/

    I think I want to follow this project and I need some help to check whether it is possible for me to do it....I'm very weak on this...just need some guidance to finish my project...

    I,ve simulate the timer circuit but I stuck on the motor parts because I'm not very familiar with CD 4017 and stepper motor...is it possible for me to use PIC16F84 to replace CD 4017???
  12. beenthere

    beenthere Retired Moderator

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    Replacing the 4017 with a microprocessor increases the complexity by a large amount. You would need to condition the input an outputs, plus write the code to control the tracker. Making large changes to a circuit is difficult.

    CD0417's are reasonably cheap. Both Mouser and Digi-Key carry them. The largest problem is obtaining the LDR's, unless their response is listed so you can get an equivalent.
  13. retched

    retched AAC Fanatic!

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    If you are set on using light sensors for the following, you seem to be going in the right direction, however, for a very reliable way to do this, with a PIC, is to use sun location charts. It will tell you where in the sky the sun is at your location on that date at that time. You would then use the motors to aim the table to those angles. The equation can easily be programmed into the chip so you wouldn't need to update the chart.

    This works just like the MEADE telescopes AutoStar device. You aim your telescope at a preset direction and the micro-controller turns the motors to aim the scope in the direction you want. All without optics. Optics that can go bad, or get bird droppings on, rain can distort views, ect. The no optic way will be very reliable. and use less power. If a bird dropping happens to land above one of the LSR, the array will go out of aim and use more power trying to recover.
    The math has already been done and perfected. Easier to implement with only one or two motors, stepper driver and PIC/ (the optical version requires these and much more)
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  14. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    So, you've check on the link I've given..what do you think??Is there any problems with the circuit???

    I don't get it...is it hard to use LDR in my project???
    I've already purchase the LDR and still working with the resistance..
    Sorry if u need to talk the same thing many time...I just really don't get it...sad
  15. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    Thanks retched...
    But I think I need to keep on going using 555 timer because it is my idea on the beginning..If I'm using PIC then I need to change my project title and it's gonna be a lot of problems to me...sad
  16. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    I don't get it..if I'm using 4017, I don't need to download any coding into 4017??
  17. beenthere

    beenthere Retired Moderator

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    No. It's a counter. Google "cd4017" and get a data sheet.
  18. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    owh okkeyy...thanks...is the schematic for the motor controller circuit correct???
  19. beenthere

    beenthere Retired Moderator

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    Looks like it will work.
  20. Sle7in

    Sle7in Thread Starter New Member

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    okkey...thanks...what about the schematic for the timer???Is there any changes to be made???
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