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  1. #1
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    Default The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oj1E7o7J3qc

    It really is amazing that it works.
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    Think I know what your next 3D print build is going to be ....

    Very cool!
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    Now to up scale to be able to move a larger panel. My next question, what if wind is blowing, will it not split the wind ie similar to boat bow into water. Hence panel unable to turn due to wind pressure on each solar panel side.
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Now to up scale to be able to move a larger panel. My next question, what if wind is blowing, will it not split the wind ie similar to boat bow into water. Hence panel unable to turn due to wind pressure on each solar panel side.
    The trick here is to use the small tracker to track the sun, and slave a large array to it.

    Essentially you put an angle sensor on the small array and then drive a controller and motors on the big array.

    This is how big steerable things like RADAR antenna and guns work.
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    I would stick to a higher rpm motor coupled to a very low geared reduction box on that thingy. That should resist other loads such as wind
    Last edited by Dungbeetle; 2021/07/18 at 11:40 AM.
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    Quote Originally Posted by Dungbeetle View Post
    I would stick to a higher rpm motor coupled to a very low geared reduction box on that thingy. That should resist other loads such as wind
    If you look carefully at the video that is exactly what he did.
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    Mounting it on a equatorial mount and adjusting it for your latitude it will always have maximum exposure.

    Basically how automatic telescope tracking is done.
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    Perhaps the actuators commonly used can be controlled very well. That is what the CSIR are using on their solar farm next to the N4.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    The trick here is to use the small tracker to track the sun, and slave a large array to it.

    Essentially you put an angle sensor on the small array and then drive a controller and motors on the big array.

    This is how big steerable things like RADAR antenna and guns work.
    Dam, didn't think of that. Again one would need a low draw /start up motor to turn the panels.
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    This takes me back 40 years. Used a quadrant photo diode in box with a pinhole for the sunlight, 4 lm12 opamps and two window winder motors to track both azimuth and elevation of the sun. I vaguely remember halving the field coils of the motors so that they could forwards and backwards.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonatan View Post
    This takes me back 40 years. Used a quadrant photo diode in box with a pinhole for the sunlight, 4 lm12 opamps and two window winder motors to track both azimuth and elevation of the sun. I vaguely remember halving the field coils of the motors so that they could forwards and backwards.
    Didn't those window winders already turn both directions??

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    Quote Originally Posted by ekkekan View Post
    Didn't those window winders already turn both directions??
    Of course they did! As I said, a vague memory. I recall that detection circuit was simple, but that I had headache with the op amps and bi direction running.

    To marry the tiny solar panel and quadrant diode ideas. You can have two panels side by side in a box and a big light hole.

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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonatan View Post
    Of course they did! As I said, a vague memory. I recall that detection circuit was simple, but that I had headache with the op amps and bi direction running.

    To marry the tiny solar panel and quadrant diode ideas. You can have two panels side by side in a box and a big light hole.
    Glad to hear someone else also battled with op-amps. I have built a lot of gadgets using them as voltage comparator. Some worked well and other for different periods. Still trying to find how to hysteresis to get differential to use 1 op-amp instead of 2 for the lower and higher levels using feedback.
    Last edited by ekkekan; 2021/07/22 at 06:57 PM.

  18. #14
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    Default Re: The Worlds Simplest Solar Sun Tracker - Really

    This is the type of simplicity I like for a solar tracker: https://youtu.be/wL9PcGu_xrA?t=370 (the whole video is awful with a lot of talking)

    Here is another: https://youtu.be/_6QIutZfsFs?t=112 (but I had my quadrants rotated at 45 degrees)

    (Ekkekan, the only semiconductor I really understood in the 70's was the op amp. And the LM12 puts out 10 Amp - enough to drive motors directly. I see it is still on the market today, but now one probably uses FETs or some other mysterious device to drive motors . . . . like in my Centurion gate motor where the drivers are hard to actually find on the control board)
    Last edited by Jonatan; 2021/07/23 at 07:59 AM.

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