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Old 03-21-11, 08:02 AM   #1
Lex Parsimoniae
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Default Sun tracking software

Did you ever want to know exactly where the sun was in the sky? Or where it was going to be at 2.06 PM?

There is a 'free' software tool for displaying that info on your PC screen..

From Satellite Tracking System: Orbitron by Sebastian Stoff / Satellite tracking easiest ever!

It's also very nice for tracking the ISS space station and other things near the earth..

Yesterday, I used this tool to find out exactly what time the sun would be at exactly 180 deg from my home.
This allowed me to look at the shadows behind my new PV array, to check alinement, and to know the exact direction of true-south.

This software is used by Hams (and others) to track satellites and control the pointing of their antennas.
I am not sure if it could point an array at the sun.. (Since it's not on the list of satellites)..
I use an optical/sensor type tracker (RedRock), so I don't need that feature.

It's hard to tell where the sun is, on this overcast morning..

But, Obitron knows!

Azm 112.6
Elv 23.1
RA 00h 01m 56s
Decl 0 14' 56"
Lon 13.0956 W
Lat 0.2217 N
Range (km) 149 014 618

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Old 03-21-11, 08:32 AM   #2
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I've also used a Solar Path Finder, a very basic device that more or less lets you over lay via a reflection, your site and look at what is going to give you shading at what time of day for the whole year.
I think you can also get an Iphone app that does the same kind of thing then using GPS it figures out your sun hours and spits out a bunch of info for you.
it's really neat being able to use these devices to see where the sun is going to be in the sky at any one point in time on any day of the year.

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