Solar tracker arduino schematic

Pb_user_/ October 2, 2012/ Solar tracker arduino schematic/ comments

Solar energy is becoming more and more prevalent across the world. Currently, many methods are being researched to make solar panels output more energy, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and coal. One way to do this is to have the panels move, always facing the sun in the sky. This allows optimal energy collection, making solar panels more efficient. This Instructable will look into how solar trackers work, and implement such a method into a solar tracker prototype using an Arduino UNO.

There are 3 main methods which are used to control a solar tracker. The first is a passive control system, and the other two are active control systems. The passively controlled solar tracker contains no sensors or actuators but changes its position based on heat from the Sun. By using gas with a low boiling point in a container mounted on hinges at its middle, similar to a see-saw, the solar panel can change its position based on the direction of heat from the Sun.

The active systems are a bit different.

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Both require a processing system, as well as actuators to move the panels. One way to actively control solar panels is to transmit the Sun's position to the panels. The panels then orient themselves to this position in the sky. Another method is by using sensors to detect the sun's position.

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These sensors are then used to determine where the sun is in the sky, allowing the panel to orient itself appropriately. How this system works is shown in the pictures above. There will be 1 light dependent resistor on each side of a divider.

This divider will cast a shadow on the sensor on one side of the panel, creating a drastic difference between the two sensor readings. This will prompt the system to move toward the brighter side to equalize sensor readings, optimizing solar panel position. In the case of a 2 axis solar tracker, this same principle can be used, with 3 sensors instead of two 1 on left, 1 on right, 1 on bottom. The left and right sensors can be averaged, and this reading can be compared with the bottom sensor to determine how much the panel must move up or down.

Arduino UNO: This is the microcontroller for this project. It reads sensor data and determines how much and in which direction the servos must turn.

Servo: These are the actuators used for this project. They are easy to control and very precise, making it perfect for this project. These are used to determine the position of the sun in the sky. After soldering together the circuit onto a perf board feel free to use a breadboard insteadits time to assemble the device. I used cardboard and a styrofoam block to create a base and panel holder for the tracker, as well as a divider wall for the sensors using popsicle sticks.

This step is up to you.In modern solar tracking systems, the solar panels are fixed on a structure that moves according to the position of the sun.

The circuit design of solar tracker is simple but setting up the system must be done carefully. The PWM inputs of two servos are given from digital pins 9 and 10 of Arduino. LDRs are used as the main light sensors. Two servo motors are fixed to the structure that holds the solar panel.

solar tracker arduino schematic

The program for Arduino is uploaded to the microcontroller. The working of the project is as follows. LDRs sense the amount of sunlight falling on them. Four LDRs are divided into top, bottom, left and right. For east — west tracking, the analog values from two top LDRs and two bottom LDRs are compared and if the top set of LDRs receive more light, the vertical servo will move in that direction.

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If the bottom LDRs receive more light, the servo moves in that direction. If the left set of LDRs receive more light than the right set, the horizontal servo will move in that direction. If the right set of LDRs receive more light, the servo moves in that direction. If you are the one who loves to craft inspiring projects then Arduino solar tracker is for you. But still, if you are unable to design projects on your own that may be due to the lack of components or some other issues.

In this article, detailed information on solar panels like prices, power usage and performance is given for the convenience of users. Make a try with these wonderful solar panel kits to install them in your homes.

This designed only for tracking sun and increasing its efficiency…. Power of the solar panel is not considered…Servo motors used here consume very less power.

They are powered from arduino board it self. Can you please explain the steps for the programm…. Page excellentand excellent projects for beginners im a student and I think this is awesome because we need projects like this to be best. It could be a self sufficient system! Optimizes solar power generation, that could power back the optimizer system itself!

A win-win game! Very nice. What i want to ask is the solar panel tracker tracking the sun light intensity for other panels on w or others? Hello, I tried makin the project bt d motors r moving very slow. They r not moving as fast as given in d video. I tried changin d servo motor bt d isssue remains d same. Cn der b ny oder prob. Hi, Anyone else noticed that the diagram might be wrong? It states k resistors, however i believe it should be 10k?

Hi, Please check the connections once again. Try to calibrate the servos and LDR before connecting.Add the following snippet to your HTML:. Project tutorial by Ingeimaks Ingeimaks. A solar tracker is a mechanical-automatic device that through sensors can understand the position of the Sun that thanks to the motors you can follow it so as to store more solar energy. Let's see how it builds!!

Please log in or sign up to comment. In this system solar panel will move in the direction of sun from sun rise to sun set. Project tutorial by Brown Dog Gadgets. Fun and easy green robot! Build a sun tracking solar array in under an hour.

Bonus: charge your phone with free clean energy! Anemometer or a wind speed measuring device is a common weather station instrument. It was costly online, so I built one! Project tutorial by Achindra Bhatnagar. A solar panel that can rotate in two axis either automatically using four light sensors, either manually with the aid of two potentiometers.

Project tutorial by Giannis Arvanitakis. Building on and up! Using the lessons learned from the first tracker computer, we combine a bit of everything in this code. Project in progress by Team Trouble. Sign In. My dashboard Add project. Project tutorial. Code Download.

Seguidor Solar - Arduino Solar Tracker - Construccion paso a paso

Connection Download. Author Ingeimaks Ingeimaks 7 projects 21 followers Follow.

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Respect project. Similar projects you might like. Solar Tracker V2. Powered by. Keep me signed in on this device. Or connect with your social account: Login with Arduino. Breadboard generic. Resistor 1k ohm.The circuit and the mechanism explained in this article may be considered as the easiest and perfect dual axis solar tracker system.

The device is able to track the daytime motion of the sun precisely and shift in the vertical axis accordingly. As shown in the figure, a relatively easy mechanism can be witnessed here.

Building an Automatic Solar Tracker With Arduino UNO

The solar tracker is basically mounted over a couple of stand with a central movable axis. The pivotal arrangement allows the panel mounts to move on a circular axis over almost degrees. A motor gear mechanism as shown in the diagram is fitted just at the corner of the pivotal axis in such a way that when the motor rotates the entire solar panel shifts proportionately about its central pivot, either anticlockwise or clockwise, depending upon the motion of the motor which in turn depends on the position of the sun.

The position of the LDRs are critical here and the set of LDR which corresponds to this vertical plane movement is so positioned that it senses the sun light accurately and tries to keep the panel perpendicular to the sun rays by moving the motor in the appropriate direction through a definite number of stepped rotations. The LDR sensing is actually accurately received and interpreted by an electronic circuit which commands the motor for the above explained actions.

Another mechanism which is quite similar to the above vertical setting, but moves the panel through a lateral motion or rather it moves the whole solar panel mount in circular motion over the horizontal plane.

Arduino Solar Tracker

This motion takes place in response to the position of the sun during the seasonal changes, therefore in contrast to the vertical movements; this operation is very gradual and cannot be experienced on a daily basis. Again the above motion is in response to the command given to the motor by the electronic circuit which operates in response to the sensing done by the LDRs. For the above procedure a different set of LDRs are used and are mounted horizontally over the panel, at a specific position as shown in the diagram.

A careful investigation of the circuit shown in the diagram reveals that the whole configuration is actually very simple and straightforward.

solar tracker arduino schematic

The opamps are primarily wired to form a kind of window comparator, responsible for activating their outputs whenever their inputs waver or drift out of the predetermined window, set by the relevant pots. Two LDRs are connected to the inputs of the opamps for sensing the light levels. As long as as the lights over the two LDRs are uniform, the outputs of the opamp remain deactivated.

However the moment one of the LDRs senses a different magnitude of light over it which may happen due to the changing position of the sun the balance over the input of the opamp shift toward one direction, immediately making the relevant opamps output go high. This high output instantly activates the full bridge transistor network, which in turn rotates the connected motor in a set direction, such that the panel rotates and adjusts its alignment with the sun rays until uniform amount of light is restored over the relevant set of LDRs.

Once the light level over the relevant LDR sets is restored, the opamps again become dormant and switch off their outputs and also the motor. The above sequence keeps on happening for the whole day, in steps, as the sun alters its position and the above mechanism keeps shifting in accordance to the suns position. It should be noted that two sets of the above explained circuit assemblies will be required for controlling the dual actions or simply to make the above discussed dual tracker solar system mechanism.We all know during summer heat is more intense because sun rays are perpendicular to the earth surface and hence the solar energy is concentrated over a small region.

Freeduino board Atmega Operating Voltage. Input Voltage recommended. Input Voltage limits. Analog Input Pins. DC Current for 3. Flash Memory. Clock Speed. Servo is most widely used actuator in project like robotic arms, Rc plane, self balancer, multirotors, etc. The servo motor has three wires unlike normal PMDC motors which have two wires.

These signals are PWM signal of varying duty cycle and frequency of 50Hz analog servos or Hz digital servos.

On time. Off time. Higher the intensity or brightness of light the Lower the resistance and vice versa.

solar tracker arduino schematic

Input ADC :. Output PWM :. In our program we will set an initial angle for servo arm and then increment it or decrement it according to our output from LDR.

Circuit Connections are shown in the Circuit Diagram Tab. Structural details:. You can make your own design, below are the self explanatory images of the one I made. I just hot glued every part and it was ready within 20 minutes.

The material I used was light weight Depron Ad board. You can very well use cardboard or thermocol, ply etc but remember that bottom platform should be strong enough to hold everything and top platform movable should not be very heavy. Figure : Top view. Figure : TOP. Figure : sideview. I directly connected the top platform to servo horn using hot glue.

Figure : side. Figure : platform details.Add the following snippet to your HTML:. The proposed prototype is based on a dual-axis solar tracker controlled with Arduino Uno which is an open-source prototyping platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. The solar tracker can be controlled automatically with the help of LightDependent Resistor LDR sensors or manually using a potentiometer. Moreover, this test bench provides virtual instrumentation based on Excel in which its solar tracker data can be recorded and presented.

The hardware used has been chosen to be inexpensive, compact and versatile. The proposed test bench is designed to help students develop their understanding of control theory and their application. The proposed test bench is presented in Fig. It is based on a solar tracker that can rotate automatically to track the sun with the help of four LDR sensors and two servomotors SM1 and SM2or manually using a potentiometer. To switch between the two modes automatic and manuala push-button is used.

Another push-button is used to link either the SM1 up-down servomotor or SM2 left-right servomotor to the potentiometer to control their movement. Moreover, a computer is used as a virtual instrument to visualize the mode and current, voltage and power of the PV panel according to time in MS Excel. Arduino Uno board is utilized to implement all software requirements of the system. As shown in Fig.

For the horizontal axis, a bearing is fixed in parallel with the up-down servomotor for better flexibility. The solar tracker is designed to have two degrees of freedom, from east to west by the left-right servomotor and from south to north by the up-down servomotor.

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The LDR sensors are placed in the four corners of the PV panel and are put in dark tubes with a small hole on the top to detect the illumination of the sun.

These dark tubes are also considered a concentrator of radiation and are used to increase the solar tracker robustness. For automatic mode, the microcontroller converts the analogs values of LDRsensors pins A0 to A3 into digitals.

Then it controls two servomotors up-down and left-right using two Pulse-Width Modulation PWM signals pins 5and 6 to track the sun. The rotation movements occur in two axes, in azimuth from east to west according to the daily sun's path and in elevation from south to north according to the seasonal sun's path.

For manual mode, a potentiometer pin A4 is used to control the movement of the two servo motors, a push-button pin 11 is deployed to connect the potentiometer either to up-down servomotor or left-right servomotor.

Besides, another pushbutton pin 12 is used to switch between the two modes. Furthermore, the PV voltage is measured through the analog pin A5 of the Arduino, then the PV current is calculated since the resistor of the load is already known. Next, the PV current, voltage and power versus time and the actual mode are sent to the computer to present them in real-time on MS Excel.

The LDR sensor circuitry is designed as a voltage divider circuit. The variation in the light intensity is proportional to the variation of the divider output voltage.

The top of the potential divider is 5 V, the ground is at 0 V, and the output of the voltage divider is connected to an analog input A 0 for instance of the microcontroller. Subsequently, the Analog to Digital Converter ADC of the microcontroller converts the analog value read by A 0 into a digital value between 0 and because the ADC is coded in 10 bits, and according to this value, it is possible to know the level of light.

Two degrees servomotors are used. A servomotor MGR to control the solar tracker according to the vertical axis, which is the left-right servomotor. And a micro servo motor SG90 to control the solar tracker according to the horizontal axis, which is the up-down servomotor. The advantage of the servomotor is that we can control its stop, run, the direction of rotation and speed using a single low current wire connected directly to an output of the microcontroller without needing any drivers.

The used servo motors are controlled by the Arduino UNO board via 3-wire electrical cable as shown in Fig. The embedded software is the piece that will be embedded in the hardware Arduino Uno to control and monitor the solar tracker test bench. The embedded software is designed to cover the following requirements:. The test bench has two modes: manual and automatic. A pushbutton is connected to pin 12 to switch between the two modes. If the manual mode is active, the potentiometer can control servomotors either from east to west for left-right motor or from south to north for the up-down motor.

A push-button is connected to pin 11 to switch the potentiometer between the two motors, either it controls the left-right servomotor or up-down servo motor. If the automatic mode is active, the algorithm presented in Fig.In many cases this also includes files sent to you through other apps as well. I actually had two additional libraries on my iMac, and I have no idea why. This can be caused by apps that were deleted long ago, or even duplicates.

It had come over from several backups and they were already backed up to an external, leaving no need them to take up space. You can think of DaisyDisk as a pack of hounds with one job sniffing out large files on your hard drive and drawing your attention to them.

solar tracker arduino schematic

Service files and app remnants can eat up terrible amounts of disk space. Sometimes I download apps with every intention of using them, and then I never do.

This is where I end up deleting them. If I ever need them again, I can just re-install. AppCleaner also lets you pick and choose what files you delete inside an app. That being said, AppCleaner does an excellent job of helping you clean up unused apps that are hogging unnecessary storage. And whenever you add another piece to your workflow, it seems the duplicates always love to come back in droves.

If you suspect you have duplicate photos floating around in your library, there are tons of apps available to help you clean them up.

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One of my favorites is PhotoSweeper. Not only can it scan your library for exact matches, you have tons of options for customizing your photo triaging. For example, I can search for only photos of the exact same file type (great for photographers who only want to search for RAW files), or only files of the exact same size.

Instead, you can stream them using iTunes in the Cloud. As you can see in the screenshot above, I have a cloud icon next to all of my movies. To delete movies off your actual Mac hard drive, just right click the movie and remove it. It will still stay available for streaming via iTunes in the Cloud. This alone can free up tons of hard drive space. For example, I have lots of old photos and videos from college and high school. When I want to access them, I can simply log in to Dropbox from anywhere, or use the app on my iPhone or iPad.

On the Mac, you can dictate what folders sync from Dropbox and are stored locally on your Mac.

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