I know this is ambitious for my very first project but I have a real world problem to solve and I want to do it elegantly.
I’m going to build a tracking solar collector. I have it built with 2 linear actuators and I have tried 2 commercial products and the both suck big time. So I decided that I’m going to do it myself and do it right.
Here are my goals.
- Obviously - to track the sun.
- I want to add sensors to detect the angle the panels are tilted at and to detect shaking. The idea being that I want the collector to go horizontal at night and in case of wind. But instead of detecting wind I want to detect shaking and assume it’s wind.
- I’m using a YUN so I want WIFI access to control and monitor it through web pages.
- NTP Time access will allow me know know if it’s really sundown and not just dark clouds
- All powered by the DC from the panels so at night it goes dead
- I need to sense current draw by the actuators so that I can tell when it hits the limit switch
Some additional thoughts - a compass sensor might be nice so when it wakes up it knows which way it’s pointing without having to see the sun. A display might not be necessary because I could control it from my cell phone.
So - in the spirit of doing it right and releasing my code to the world - but keeping the price reasonable - I’m looking for suggestions and ideas.
Here’s a link to what I’ve built so far.
I think this could be fun.