In the series of experiment, Instructables have created a Solar Tracker which can be connected to internet cloud and also, is accessible from a smartphone. The aim of the project is to meet the need of automated irrigation system for raising a vegetable garden. The tracker helps to achieve self-reliance by adding a solar panel that allows the vegetable garden to water by itself. As the rain barrel collection system is added as a water source, the target of self-reliance is further accomplished and also doing so, makes this an environmentally sound.
It uses a home-built electronic controller that includes Wi-Fi, accelerometer, stepper motor drives and magnetometer. The main highlight of this tracker is that it is built from 2x4s and plywood, employing wooden peg gears, recycled curtain poles, nuts, bolts and threaded rod. Basically, it was designed to drive a full-size 90W panel in azimuth and elevation, where the gears were designed by using modern 3D CAD. Further, it is not a waterproof design and therefore requires certain modification.
As it is visible from the picture, the project demands high proficiency in the fields of mechanical mechanisms along with web application and solar energy. Further, it is expected to have basic knowledge of firmware, basic electronics and microcontroller along with accelerometer/ magnetometer, the Internet of Things, Wi-Fi, 3D Modeling, CNC machining, re-use and basic woodworking.
A move towards the renewable source of energy is the need of an hour and a better solar tracking efficiency helps you gains up to 30% versus static installation and hence make solar tracking attractive. Further, using a micro-controller helps in controlling the tracking, which in turn, allows better control over the tracking power losses as the system operates in a low power mode. You can get the complete information from the following website along with a short video to show the completed project in action.
Filed Under: Reviews