Solar tracker

I recently completed a small solar tracker project using a servo for the drive. It works nicely but I'm expanding my use of solar power within our household so the plan is to use a larger solar panel (~1.5'x2'). I am now building a very beefy drive using a window regulator I removed from a vehicle.

It draws 3.5a with no additional load and stall current is 20a. This is a powerful drive and since it will be rotating an assembly mounted on bearings I think the only significant draw above 3.5a would be caused by ice or snow or a malfunction. I would like to limit it's operating only if it's current draw is below a threshold of 6a or so. I came across this device and I think it could be used be used for this application. The plan would be to use an ADC of the Arduino Uno to monitor it's voltage output.

I would like to get opinions if the device would work in this application. Also, since it is a hall effect device could shielding around the device be used to prevent the the motor's emf affecting it's operaton.

  • Scotty

It looks like an interesting device - especially the price.

You could also just pass the motor current through a suitably large low Ohms resistor and measure the voltage drop across it. Indeed you could probably build a transistor circuit for a few $ which would disconnect a relay if the load exceeded a certain level. Or you could use a regular domestic MCB rated for, say, 10 amps. If you needed a remote notification that the circuit breaker had tripped you could monitor the voltage on the motor side. I think my preference would be the MCB as they are simple, tried and tested.

I have been vaguely thinking of a similar project - I like your idea of using a window winder.