2-Axis XY Axis DC Gimbal High Torque For Solar Tracking CCTV Robot Large Payload

Thread Starter

denison

Joined Oct 13, 2018
332
Hi, There are many of these advertised on the internet especially ALI EXPRESS. I cannot get any information on them. Does anybody on this forum know anything about them?
Are they complete with light sensitive devices? Are they programmed already to track the sun or does the buyer have to use a MCU to program them? Probably need a complete users manual if one is available.
It is very annoying when the seller does not give any info on his product. Also doesn't help his sales.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,418
The ones I looked at were just the mechanicals, motor and limit switches. They look like cheap junk that's unlikely to last a full winter here.
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I have a panels on a mount but it's manual and super-strong (scrap commercial unistrut and schedule 80 high pressure steel pipe).
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Large sat dish tilter head.
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Concrete base with brass thrust bushing for the support pole makes it easy to point at the sun but I almost never aim. The cost of solar panels makes practical, dependable solar tracking systems a lousy investment IMO.
 

Thread Starter

denison

Joined Oct 13, 2018
332
The ones I looked at were just the mechanicals, motor and limit switches. They look like cheap junk that's unlikely to last a full winter here.
View attachment 320283
View attachment 320284
I have a panels on a mount but it's manual and super-strong (scrap commercial unistrut and schedule 80 high pressure steel pipe).
View attachment 320280
Large sat dish tilter head.
View attachment 320281
View attachment 320282
Concrete base with brass thrust bushing for the support pole makes it easy to point at the sun but I almost never aim. The cost of solar panels makes practical, dependable solar tracking systems a lousy investment IMO.
thanks for that nsaspook. you have given me some ideas. I am in Australia. many of my neighbours have solar panels but all are fixed. their output is fed back into the mains reducing their electricity costs.
"Just mechanicals motor and a limit switch." That explains why they don't want to give you any more info. Are they a fairly solid construction? Could you put a large solar panel on that flat plate at the top? I may be able to use it with a MCU and light sensors and servo.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,418
thanks for that nsaspook. you have given me some ideas. I am in Australia. many of my neighbours have solar panels but all are fixed. their output is fed back into the mains reducing their electricity costs.
"Just mechanicals motor and a limit switch." That explains why they don't want to give you any more info. Are they a fairly solid construction? Could you put a large solar panel on that flat plate at the top? I may be able to use it with a MCU and light sensors and servo.
I think a better solution would be just to add more panels in a fixed configuration. Tracking the sun to create around 30% more energy per day vs extra panels for the 30%.
https://www.instructables.com/Simple-Dual-Axis-Solar-Tracker/
In fact solar panels that track the sun create around 30% more energy per day than a fixed panel. With that kind of power increase you'd think everyone would be doing it, but there are some good reasons why it's not overly common. First, the initial cost of setup is higher since it requires moving parts. Second, it also require maintenance and upkeep since they'd be exposed to outdoors conditions year round. Third, you'd need to power this equipment in order to keep it running and moving which then takes away from your output.

For most applications and home use, tracking is overkill. We typically don't see tracking used unless it's in large industrial power generation systems. Though that doesn't mean you can't make your own version at home.
Fixed with an extra string(s) for shading coverage is what most people do now. The yard area that was once my youngs kids play area is now a solar garden.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,934
A system to do tracking the sun does not need to be that complex. AND, Really, just a sensor with comparators to sense the shift can track close enough.
The tricky part is running back to the start position after sunset. That will require a limit switch. For the rest just a sun/shadow scheme to switch on the motor every few minutes can do it. A fast-acting sensor like the one for switching on lights at night could do the job then.
So even serious tracking will certainly not need anything close to a regular (standard) servo package. The common term for all that would be needed was a "Bang-bang servo" when I took the courses.
But still, there is a large difference in cost and in complexity between a manually adjusted solar array and a sun tracking array, and given that not every installation needs to perform at the theoretical maximum performance, close to 100% conversion of the sunlight energy, the fixed systems are totally adequate.
 
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