Tracing the Sun: Dual Axis Solar Tracker System

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Solar energy is coming up as a major source of energy. The need of the hour is renewable energy resources with cheap running costs. With the current systems for solar energy harvesting, we have high production only at fixed times mostly noon. This project proposes a dual axis solar tracker system that increases the productivity by a significant margin.

Solar Angles

The angle of inclination ranges between -90° after sun rise and +90° before sunset passing with 0° at noon. This makes the collected solar radiation to be 0% at sunrise and sunset and 100% at noon. This variation of solar radiations collection leads the photovoltaic panel to lose more than 40% of the collected energy. In this project, we take you through designing a Solar tracker so that you maximise on the solar energy collection.

Designing the Dual Axis Solar Tracker system

This system requires involvement of a wide range of engineering including mechanical electrical and electronics. The system can be broken down into these three domains as well.

The mechanical part would involve designing a smooth gear system to move as per requirement. The electrical part would be the working of solar panel and battery requirement. The electronics would involve designing the sensor system that would generate commands for the gear system to act accordingly.

Electronics component list:

S.No.ComponentQuantity
1Transformer step down 12-0-121
2Voltage Regulator 78051
3Transistor npn4
4Diode2
5Capacitor3
6Variable Resistor 4
7Light dependent resistors (LDR)4
8Microcontroller 89S521
9Motor driver uln2003a2
10Solar  Panel (all black)1
11Unipolar stepper motor 2
12Crystal oscillator 12 Mhz1

The system employs spur gear for the implementation of the dual axis solar tracker.

Dual axis Solar Tracker System
Fig: A Spur Gear

A spur gear is a simplest type of gear and can be seen a lot of applications including clocks and escalators. It consists of teeth protruding perpendicular to the circumference of the wheel.

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