home made dual axis solar tracker

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Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 1904
Posted: 03:59pm 21 Sep 2009      

I do like a challenge with my project and I certainly got plenty with this one .

Its about time that I use some RE to power my house and today it was done. I opted to use a grid independent system with a modest 2 x 210W panel set up. To get the most out of my panels they were fitted to a part time solar tracker.
The output from the inverter powers the house lights (all cf type)and a very efficient chest type drinks fridge which I made from an old upright fridge.

By part time I mean its timer controlled, advancing the panel angle by 15 degrees every hour. The control circuit is all electro mechanical and consumes no (zero) standby power drain. The timer does have a constant power drain but I managed to modify a commercial digital timer for a very low power drain (~0.15W). The all up power draw of the whole contraption is around 1.5KWh per year, something this tracker should easily recover in one day.

Anyway, below are a couple of pictures of the tracker and its control panel in the shed. The tracker is up on the shed roof which slopes by 2 degrees from N to S.
If anybody is interested in more details of this tracker please let me know, I have some more construction pictures.