solar panel aiming system

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by hank2222, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey+++

    I have been playing around with a idea paper about a solar panel aiming system design to mount the panel system on a rod system that allows the person to aim the panel at the sun no matter the time of year it is can be aimed at the sun in the winter time or summer time to catch the sun rays ..

    The panel system can be aimed at the sun to get the maxuim amount of sunlight out of the panel to produce the power dureing summer or fall or winter or spring time of the year ..

    the whole thing is how big of a panel to use on the test bed .. My personal thoughts is on a couple large panels that is a Kycera KD135G 135 watts panels to do a test run on design idea to get the info and feed back on the set up before building the unit for market ..

    I know that the socalled solar tracker system are design to do that but there is a better way to get the max out of a panel no matter the time of year it is ..

    So what do you think of the idea
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Well, you don't really give enough information to make an informed opinion, but since the earth is constantly rotating relative to the sun, how would your system "aim" the panels as the sun position is constantly moving ?

    Are you talking roof mount or pole mounted systems ? Are you proposing to track the horizon axis ( north/south tilt ) or the equatorial axis ( east/west ) or both ?

    The "so called" trackers do what they are supposed to do.....they keep the panels more in a perpendicular angle to the sun....which is how you increase power output. Solar panels are the MOST productive when they are 90 degrees to the sun.

    I take it this is a manual tracking system, which of course, would work, but would require SOMEBODY to keep standing there all day moving the panels.

    Personally, I'm happy to let a DC linear actuator do that for me while I go do other things.....

    But if you have plans to re-invent the wheel, give us some details on what the new wheel will look like and how it will roll.... :D
  3. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey+++

    I wished i had taken a picture of the one person set up in Hawaii they had it where the solar panel system was aimed at the sun in the morning and at lunch reprostioned for the max amount of sun light on the panels at there place in Hawaii

    that where i got the thinking idea about the solar aiming system
  4. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Well, yeah, you can DO IT manually, but why would you ?

    You'd STILL have to have the SAME setup as far as moving parts as a tracker, and the only savings would be the drive system ( which, as I said is about 150 bucks + maybe another 100 for the controller ). So for 250 bucks less, you have a "manual tracker" that you have to fool with 2-3 times a day that produces less power than if it "jogs" the tracker every few minutes like a power one ( or the passive freon type ) does.

    What's the point ? I don't get it.
  5. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey+++

    the basic idea was useing the system dureing the winter months to get a better return on solar power by useing the aiming method where the panels are aimed at the sun directly to get the panels to produce more dureing the time the earth is in the farthest orbit away from the sun and it powering the system of panels.

    Since you live in a area that gets cold weather how much power is produce useing the solar panels alone for the homestead dureing the months that the sun is not as closed dureing the winter sky

    Here is a couple ideas i been thinking about but useing a fixed base system for the land after seeing the guy useing the Solar stick set up there in Hawaii to produce his power with a combo wind and solar to light up his place with the basic needs of a fridge and few lights and laptop computer with protable printer and flat screen tv to watch movies on ..

    the socalled nano picture is design for summer months prostion to catch the most of the sun rays in the overhead passing of the rechargeing the battery bank and that what i use on my place with a weather hub topper to collect weather data for the local ranchers and keep the small battery bank system charge for the tank home ventilation system to cycle the air out of the place when i'm not there full time ..the design was to run a 12.volt powered ventilation system along with a eZbreathe machine to remove stale air and mold and moisture from the air when the home is closed up and no one is there ..
    BreezeinBlak2_000. NanoSetup23. SS360Silo.
  6. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Actually Hank, the sun is closest to the earth at the point in the earth's orbit is known as perihelion and it occurs on January 3.

    The earth is farthest away from the sun on July 4 when it is 94,555,000 miles (152,171,522 km) from the sun. This point in the earth's orbit is called aphelion.

    The REASON panels produce less in the winter the farther you get away from the equator is due to the tilt of the earth, not the distance from the sun. The sun is at a lower angle, and thus, the daylight hours are shorter.

    Here, I would need to crank the panels up to about 50 degrees mid-winter, and lower them to about 20 degrees mid summer. I have mine set at 37 degrees, which is latitude here, and a compromise angle for either end.

    But what you call "an aiming method" is simply another name for a tracker. The only question is how you move the panels....occasionally by hand, or continuously by some other method.
    Mountainman and hank2222 like this.
  7. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    By the way, here is a shot of the back side of the single axis ( east west ) trackers I built for my panels:

    hank2222 likes this.
  8. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey+++

    Thanks Andy for te info and the picture about the system that you bult .. it just a idea i have been thinking about after seeing the one guy set up
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just a NOTE, here: It isn't just the shorter Days, that cause less Solar Power to be produced during winters, it is ALSO, that because the Suns Photons must travel thru more of the atmosphere, to reach the panels, more of the energy is lost to that atmospheric adsorbtion, due to heating, than if the sun is closer to overhead. The surrounding atmosphere is only about 60 miles thick straight up, but in winter with the sun low on the horizon, the photons have to transit thru more than 200-300 miles of atmosphere to get from space to your panels. The farther north you go, the lower the sun rises, in winter, and the higher the adsorption losses become. ......
    hank2222 likes this.
  10. BigZ

    BigZ Monkey+++

    A quick down and dirty would be 4 photodectors, 2 for north south and 2 for east west. Just aim the detectors a few degrees out and then use a diferential amplifier on each pair to generate an error for each each axis
    hank2222 likes this.
  11. BigZ

    BigZ Monkey+++

    DifferentiAl voltage solar tracking

    One of the advantages of this method is it's ability to maintain focus/aim on the best return althogh you may have to place a lamp to illuminate the east detector to get repositioned for dawn. Bear in mind youl want the detectors aimed outward a few degrees ie the east detector pointed a few degrees east etc
    hank2222 likes this.
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