Nowadays the use of solar panels is increasing day by day. If you don't know already let me tell you what is Solar Panel? It is a device that converts sunlight into electricity. This electricity is stored in the batteries. So that it can be used in the absence of the sun.
As non-renewable energy resources are decreasing. Similarly, the use of renewable resources for power generation is increasing. The use of Solar Panels is going to increase considerably in the coming years.
- Whats is Solar tracker?
- Two different ways to make a Solar tracker:
- Final words
Whats is Solar tracker?
Maximum energy is obtained from the solar panel if the Sun is continuously in front of the Solar panel, but this is not possible. Because the position of the sun and solar tracker changes relative to each other due to the rotation of the earth.
The solution to this problem is Solar Tracker. Solar Tracker is a device that keeps the direction of the surface of the solar panel towards the Sun. As a result, we can get the maximum possible energy from the solar panel.
How Solar Tracker Works?
To get Maximum Energy from the solar panel, it is necessary to rotate it according to the position of the sun, so that the surface of the Solar Panel is towards the Sun.
A solar tracker is a device that keeps the direction of the surface of the solar panel towards the sun in such a way that angle between the Solar Panel & rays coming from the sun (angle of incidence) can be minimized.
Solar Tracker maintains the solar panel in such a way that the angle (i) is kept to a minimum.
Type of solar trackers
1. Single-axis solar tracker
single-axis solar trackers rotate back and forth on a single-axis in one direction. Various types of single-axis solar trackers are horizontal, vertical, tilted and polar aligned.
2. Dual-axis Solar Tracker
Dual-axis trackers continuously keep the face of the solar panel facing the sun. They can rotate on two different axes. These types of trackers follow the sun vertically and horizontally and help in getting maximum solar energy from the sun.
The concept behind Solar tracker?
The basic concept behind this is that the rays coming from the sun have two components, "direct sun-light", which contains 90% of the sun's energy, the other is. "Diffuse sun-light", which contains the remaining part of energy. Because direct sunlight contains the maximum part of the energy, it is necessary to directly hit the Solar Panel for the maximum time from the sunlight.
The energy from the solar panel decreases with the cosine of the angle (i), between direct sunlight and the solar panel.
Energy loss with incidence angle (i), without solar tracker:
|Angle of incidence (i)∘||cos(i)||Loss (%) = [1-cos(i)]*100|
Thus the loss of energy due to reflection increases gradually to an angle (i) up to 50 degrees. It increases rapidly than that. The solar tracker maintains the direction of the solar panel to the Sun. As a result, the reflection is reduced to a great extent and we get more electric energy.
Two different ways to make a Solar tracker:
Solar Tracker Using Arduino
The Solar Tracker that uses programming or Arduino, is something expensive that an ordinary person cannot buy. And because they require programming and microcontroller, these types of Solar Trackers are also difficult to build.
Solar Tracker Without Using Arduino
I created this project during my Graduation, in which no programming has been used in any way. In this post, I am going to tell you about a solar tracker that can be built without any programming. It is a DIY and budget Solar Tracker. Because you can build it at home on a cheap budget.
List of components to make this solar tracker
- LDR (Light Dependent Resistor)
- This is a simple optical sensor sometimes called photon resister or photo-cell. It is a light-sensitive resistance.
- The resistance of the LDR decreases with increasing light intensity.
- Op-amp (IC-741)
- Voltage Gain of an op-amp is very high (Approx. 200000) when it is used without a feedback circuit in differential mode.
- It means it output 200000 times of the difference between inverting and non-inverting inputs.
- Simple, DC Gear Motor
- In this project, I used a simple DC motor of 35 R.P.M. (Rotation Per Minute)
- A battery is used to store electric energy received from Solar Panel.
- When there are clouds in the sky, in that case, there will not be enough electric energy to run the circuit. Therefore it is better to connect the circuit directly to the battery.
- LED-2 pcs and Resistances
- I used resistance of 1k, 3.2k, 15k ohm in this project.
- Other Apparatus used
- Some more assistive devices will be needed to build the project.
- Soldering iron, 8-pin IC holder, PCB Board, Breadboard, Multimeter, Resistance box, Lux-meter (Smartphone can also be used)
Live Demo of Solar Tracker
As you can see in the video below that this works perfectly. I made it as a single axis Solar Tracker.
Procedure to make a sun solar tracker system
After preparing all the components according to the list given above, you need to make a circuit on the bread-board as per the diagram in the picture given below. There are two parts in this circuit. First, that has been highlighted with the green color, that has to be built by LDRs and resistances. Second, the output from both LDRs is to be connected to the input pin-2, pin-3 of the op-amp in differential mode.
This is followed by connecting the output of the op-amplifier to a simple DC motor (25-35 RPM). Now the motor has to be connected to your solar panel. So that the solar panel can rotate when the motor rotates.
Both LDRs have to be put together using an opaque object (eg a piece of cardboard) between them. Both LDRs (with opaque object) now have to be adjusted with the solar panel in such a way that Sunlight can fall on the solar panel as well as LDRs.
Here, one thing has to be kept in mind that the direction in which the motor rotates when one LDR (say LDR 1) is more illuminated. That LDR (1) has to be placed in the same direction (In which the motor was rotated) relative to the solar panel. For better understanding, I am showing in the picture below.
Working of this Sun Tracking Solar Panel System
- When the intensity of light on LDR-1 is high relative to LDR-2.
- So its (LDR-1) resistance will be less and the output voltage (Input for Op-Amp) will be higher.
- In this case, the voltage at the (+) terminal of the op-amp will be higher relative to the (-) terminal.
- So in this case, the voltage obtained at the output of the op-amp will be non-inverted (+ve).
- Suppose, the DC motor rotates clockwise in this case. So you have to put LDR-1 on the solar panel on the left-side relative to the other LDR.
- Now if the intensity of light on LDR-1 is higher than that on LDR-2.
- Its resistance will be less and the output voltage will be higher.
- So in this case, the voltage at the (-) terminal of the op-amp will be higher relative to the (+) terminal.
- Now, the voltage obtained at the output of the op-amp will be inverted (- ve). Now the DC motor will rotate anti-clockwise in this case.
So, the direction of rotation of Motor (Or Solar Panel as both are connected) is Now controlled by the intensity of light falling on LDRs.
- As we have placed an opaque object between both LDRs. So the light intensity on both LDRs will be the same at any point when the panel rotates. In this special moment, both terminals of the Op-amp will have the same equal voltage. Hence the output voltage of Op-Amp will be zero.
- At this stage, the motor will stop. But as the direction of the sun changes, again the motor will rotate to make the equal intensity of light on both LDRs.
- In this way, the light falling on the LDRs will control the direction of rotation of the motor.
The motor will come to a standstill only when the intensity of light falling on both LDRs is the same. This is only possible when the light source or the Sun is in front of the solar panel.
Otherwise the motor will turn around until it adjusts the solar panel to the sun.
So, in this post, I gave you the solution to your question of how to build a solar tracker? You can make a Solar Panel without any Programing in this way. If you are thinking of making this solar tracker project and have any kind of problem, then you can ask in the comment. You can also contact us directly. I hope you liked it.
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