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Topic: Automatically adjust my solar panels (Read 5033 times) previous topic - next topic

TrailerTrash

Mar 09, 2013, 05:54 pm Last Edit: Mar 09, 2013, 06:17 pm by TrailerTrash Reason: 1
Please how would i go about making this open and close with my droid plus automatically adjust to the correct angle?  http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-panel-frame-mounting-kit-68698.html




zoomkat

You will need to more detail on what "open and close" is in reguards to this panel bracket.
Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0

TrailerTrash


You will need to more detail on what "open and close" is in reguards to this panel bracket.


well the pic shows it open.
laying flat on my flat roof would be closed

zoomkat

You could probably use a linear actuator with an internal pot to move the panel and an added bracket to the panel frame to off set the actuator attach point by 45 deg. May be best to make a small mockup with cardboard and hot glue to visualize and test potential designs.
Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0

charels88

The linear actuator idea is great but if you are fairly crafty you could custom make a linear actuator.  I have made one with threaded rod, rod coupler for the moving train, two bearings, and a gear head motor.  This doesn't have any position feedback but a rotary encoder could easily be implemented. 

Do you have a plan on how to orient the panels?  I have had good small scale luck with a 30 degree pyramid with 4 photo-resistors in the middle of each face.  Biggest downfall to photo-resistors is that they aren't that great for reading direct light levels as they have a logrithmic curve.  They have more resolution reading "darkness" than vise versa.  This is where the pyramid comes in, it will cast a shadow on one side giving a better difference in values to read with and Arduino.

TrailerTrash


The linear actuator idea is great but if you are fairly crafty you could custom make a linear actuator.  I have made one with threaded rod, rod coupler for the moving train, two bearings, and a gear head motor.  This doesn't have any position feedback but a rotary encoder could easily be implemented. 

Do you have a plan on how to orient the panels?  I have had good small scale luck with a 30 degree pyramid with 4 photo-resistors in the middle of each face.  Biggest downfall to photo-resistors is that they aren't that great for reading direct light levels as they have a logrithmic curve.  They have more resolution reading "darkness" than vise versa.  This is where the pyramid comes in, it will cast a shadow on one side giving a better difference in values to read with and Arduino.

i will buy cheap low rpm 12v motor.
then instead of using the photo-resistors i will program them from the aduino to goto the correct angle determined by the tilt table at http://www.macslab.com/optsolar.html
If your latitude is between 25° and 50°, then the best tilt angles are:
For summer, take the latitude, multiply by 0.92, and subtract 24.3 degrees.
For spring and autumn, take the latitude, multiply by 0.98, and subtract 2.3 degrees.
For winter, take the latitude, multiply by 0.89, and add 24 degrees.

so something like this

int Angle = 42;
int Day = ?
pinMode(Day, INPUT);
pinMode(Angle, OUTPUT);
(Spring= March, April, May);
if(Day=March) {digitalWrite(Angle=41.7x0.98-2.3);}
yadda yudda yadda

TrailerTrash

i bet 20 bucks there is a code already done for this on the internet.

zoomkat

#7
Mar 10, 2013, 07:19 pm Last Edit: Mar 10, 2013, 07:22 pm by zoomkat Reason: 1

i bet 20 bucks there is a code already done for this on the internet.


Have you tried googling for "solar tracking" and a variety of extra words like code, actuator, panel?

edit: just to give you a jump start

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&as_q=solar+tracking&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=http%3A%2F%2Farduino.cc%2Fforum%2F&as_occt=any&safe=images&tbs=&as_filetype=&as_rights=
Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0

charels88

Hard coding the tilt values with an equation works too!  Best of luck to your project.

michinyon

Which direction are you proposing to move this device ?

Follow the sun over the course of the day,   or set to the best angle for different seasons ?

If the latter,  it is better to just move it yourself every few weeks.

TrailerTrash


just move it yourself every few weeks.


lmao, if thats the way you think then you probably dont belong in this forum.
like who would wanna go on their roof to move six of those?
automation is the future dude!

HazardsMind

There is a way to do it, but it is much easier to get a proper position (vertically) with 2 panels, and all around with 4 panels (vertical and horizontal). I would imagine those are big panels, so you might what to use a smaller set of panels to track the sun and set the bigger ones accordingly.

Also the more movement your able to give them, the better it will be. So maybe a pan and tilt feature.

Now in order to do this, you would simply compare the voltages. Now depending on which panel has the bigger value, will tell which way to move the panels to where they closely match. Like I said, have a smaller set with 2 or 4 panels and use that to adjust the bigger ones.
My GitHub:
https://github.com/AndrewMascolo?tab=repositories

mixania

You could use two servo's that rotate in two different axis:

  • One Up and Down

  • The other Left to Right



Then you could get the voltage readings that the panel gets and adjust it's position in the direction were it gets more power.

HazardsMind


You could use two servo's that rotate in two different axis:

  • One Up and Down

  • The other Left to Right



Then you could get the voltage readings that the panel gets and adjust it's position in the direction were it gets more power.


I already said that.  -_-
My GitHub:
https://github.com/AndrewMascolo?tab=repositories

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