Two Axis Solar tracking system

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by ecaits, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. ecaits

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    Dear Friends,

    I am planning to design two axis solar tracking system using pic controller (like PIC16F877A), LDR and two DC motors.

    I will compare voltage of two LDR for one DC motor rotation (Either in reverse or forward) and other two LDR for second DC motor rotation through L293D driver circuit.

    I am planning to do programming in MPLABX developing tool.

    I want some suggestion regarding reliability, accuracy, performance, hardware requirement etc.

    Plz suggest me for that.
  2. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    <two cents>
    The sun moves "left to right" every day, but "up and down" over a full year. I would ditch the "up and down" sensor for a calendar and pray the "left to right" sensor doesn't go off chasing rainbows on cloudy days.

    A solar array is obviously placed out doors. In the open. Exposed to ALL the elements. It needs to be firmly mounted for the highest level of wind it may ever experience. Thus the motor and all mountings must be very strong.

    I have never seen a large commercial system where any tracking is used. Not once. They simply orientate the system for the average sun angle for the average day and lock it down tight.
    </two cents>
  3. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    What will the algorithm be to move the motors in response to an increase in light intensity? How about a decrease like a cloud or a thunderstorm? I don't think you have thought this through. Will this system use more energy than it captures by optimizing the position of the array?
  4. kgstewar


    Apr 5, 2012
    With a clock, calendar, and map the location of the sun in the sky is completely predictable. Why not just write that into your code and ditch the sensors?
  5. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    How would you avoid the accumulation of time and position errors? How would you justify the expenditure of energy to return the array to it's initial position between sundown and sunup?
  6. NorthGuy

    Active Member

    Jun 28, 2014
  7. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011

    These seem to have but a single manual adjustment for seasonal (what I termed "up and down") adjustments. Nothing says motor driven.

    Hey, they might exist for smaller instalations. But as Parabravo correctly points out there ain't no such thing as a free lunch (you have to power the motor too).
  8. MikeML

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 2, 2009
    The solar gain in moving the panels in the North to South axis from Summer to Winter is so marginal that nobody bothers...

    Here is something I wrote on the topic...