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Old 02-07-10, 06:24 PM   #1
Lex Parsimoniae
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Woburn, MA
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Default Solar Tracker Project

I have a 10.5 foot Sat TV dish that I plan to strip down and convert into a solar tracking mount for a PV array.

Dec 21 is the day of the longest shadows. As you can see, the back peak of
the house isn't going to block noon time sun, even when it's at it's lowest point of the year.
Winter Solstice - Winter Begins December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere

I've started the project by ordering some bits and pieces.

One small PV panel to charge the battery-power supply for the tracker PCB/motor.
New UL approved 5 watt(10 watt max) Solar panel - eBay (item 160394724942 end time Feb-03-10 04:33:04 PST)

Looks like this:

One Tracker PCB kit.

Solar Tracker Circuit Kit

One sensor case: (An outdoor lamp housing from Lowes).

And a water proof box for the tracker PCB (also from Lowes)

Here's the dish..

It's been hacked. It's set up for elevation only.

The jobs:
1. The dish has to be returned to it's original config. And, all the mesh and those long dish arms will be removed.

2. A steel rack will be installed, as the foundation of the PV rack.
(I sawed up a brand new king sized bed frame. It was free).

3. Assemble the tracker PCB.

4. Build a light sensor board and install it inside the water proof lamp unit.

5. Plan, build and install water resistant limit switches on the mount, at the point of rotation.

6. Select and install a Charge-Regulator-Controller between an old 12V car battery and the new PV panel.

Found it for $21.10 on Ebay. RAMSOND SUNSHIELD

7. Put it all together and get it tracking the sun.

If proves to be reliable, then select, purchase and install some PV..

Last edited by Xringer; 02-22-10 at 08:37 PM.. Reason: Found some info
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