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Old 06-05-18, 02:08 PM   #1
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Default DIY Single axis solar panel trackers

I already have the perfect spot picked out.
Some years back my land was used as a small dairy. So sections are fenced off. I have this one particularly useless fenced off section about 120 feet long and only about 12 feet wide, running north to south and it's between my well and 60 amp sub panel that's going to send power to the well.
I was thinking about just removing that section of fence.
But now I'm thinking that I could start my first crop of solar panels in there.

I want to start putting them on trackers because I can see my self easy exceeding 9.6kw which would be the limit of back feeding my 200 amp main panel.
To upgrade could cost thousands of dollars.
I need to sit down with my 2017 code book and figure out what the options are.
9.6kw would allow me to produce around 48kwh per day. But 9.6kw on single axis trackers would allow me to produce up to around 60kwh, give or take.
If I use all the loop holes and absolutely hit the limit of single phase 200 amp service I might go to 3 phase.

I have been looking at liner actuators and solar tracker controllers and if I can build the panel mounts and and tilt rig cheap enough it could be worth it.


Last edited by oil pan 4; 06-05-18 at 03:58 PM..
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Old 06-05-18, 02:22 PM   #2
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I was able to find a 225-amp breaker box that was the same brand as my old main box. It was just a few inches taller.
I kept my 200 amp breaker and all the other breakers.
This will allow you to feed back more amps to your main box.
Something to think about.
(Busbar Rating (A) x 1.2) - Main Breaker Rating (A) = Max PV (A)

(225 * 1.2) - 200 = 70 Amps
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Old 06-13-18, 08:18 AM   #3
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200 amp x .8 ( for continuous duty ) = 160 amps x 240 Volt = 38,400 watts .

This is single phase , assuming 3/0 copper THHN .

200 amp 3 phase x .8 ( for continuous duty ) = 160 amps x 3 x120 Volt = 57,600 Watts .

This is 3 phase 120/208 Volt , assuming 3/0 copper THHN .

Would be slightly more for 3 phase 120/240 Volt .

Wyr
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Old 06-13-18, 08:24 AM   #4
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How do you plan on using linear actuators? I would assume you are hoping to get a good 160 deg of travel for the panels, which I think would be hard to do with a linear actuator.
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Old 06-13-18, 09:14 AM   #5
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Doesn't have to be the full 160 I'm going for more like 100 of motion.
It has to be really sturdy to hold up to the wind and be really cheap or else more panels and up graded electrical service would be cheaper.

Adding real trackers that stay with the sun all day can more than double the price of the total cost of the panel install, then for all that added expense and and complexity you get 1/3 more output.
What I'm looking for is up to 20% more output for more like 10% additional cost.

Last edited by oil pan 4; 06-13-18 at 11:01 AM..
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Old 06-13-18, 10:38 AM   #6
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Don't know if this will help but there are a number of tracking ideas at this website.
Red Rock Energy Heliostats

JJ

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