Author Topic: Solar tracker for give away  (Read 3965 times)

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David HK

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Solar tracker for give away
« on: December 10, 2015, 04:42:25 PM »
Suitable for a 12 volt DC system.

Actuator not included. Works okay in good sunshine areas. Documentation included.

Bidders must be long established on this website with more than 100 posts.

Convince me I should send it to you.

Dave in Hong Kong

Photograph as follows:-




clockmanFRA

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2015, 12:31:26 AM »
Hi David,

Yes I remember you developing this a few years ago.

Looks like this controller unit will be ideal for a new install.

Everything is possible, just give me time.

OzInverter man. Normandy France.

3off Hugh P's 3.7m Wind T's (9 years).  .. 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (5 yrs) .. 9kW PV AC coupled Used/SH GTI's, on my OzInverter created Grid, and back charging with AC Coupling to the OzInverter to my 48v 1300ah batteries.

David HK

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 01:33:32 AM »
Hello Clockman,

Thank you for the note. I was delighted to read about your latest exploits with the barn, and the latest electronic gizmo. Well done for explaining it to us on this website.

Yes my solar tracker has been a faithful servant, but, having reached the age of 67 and no son, I need to dispose of renewable energy things to what I consider a good home..

In the past I have given other things away, but sometimes I discover that inexperienced people have no idea about what I am giving them, and, I later discover they want to use the item(s) in an environment that is nothing short of stupidity. One rainstorm and the kit is useless.

Hence my latest post which basically says 100 posts and bidders are in the game.

We shall have to see what happens in this instance.

I am quite prepared to take it all to the hammer and in less than two minutes the kit will be rendered useless. I will also have saved some airmail postage.

Let's see what transpires.

Dave

clockmanFRA

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 01:19:12 PM »
Here is a pic of my developed and manufactured 2kW trackers.



I put them together a few years back and they work well and survive real storms and winds, and I put together a booklet with lots of colour photos and plans/drawings etc, so folk can build there own.

Each of mine uses 'Daves' circuit from Cowa, Australia, (funny that), PIC with some simple code, it has a lag of about 10 minutes so its not spending time hunting that glimmer in the sky, called the Sun I believe they call it?. And at night it shuts down and parks facing the morning sun, ha ha, .

Hopefully a forum member will have a go with your controller?

 
Everything is possible, just give me time.

OzInverter man. Normandy France.

3off Hugh P's 3.7m Wind T's (9 years).  .. 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (5 yrs) .. 9kW PV AC coupled Used/SH GTI's, on my OzInverter created Grid, and back charging with AC Coupling to the OzInverter to my 48v 1300ah batteries.

David HK

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2015, 01:55:58 PM »
Very nice Clockman.

If I was a young man again and possessed all the knowledge I have accumulated on this website over the years, plus my own constructions, then my home could almost be 95% powered by renewable energy.

I would never give up on mains power because one always needs to cater for the unforeseen calamity.

Alas, my world is changing and I don't want my wife and daughter to inherit equipment that they don't understand and would find difficult to dispose of.

No doubt many readers will understand the sentiments.

Dave

electrondady1

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2015, 03:25:21 PM »
can't you market the thing and start manufacturing?
my trees have to come down so i will start going solar
i like the idea of a tracking devise
 

Mary B

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2015, 03:25:57 PM »
That is a nice setup, I remember when this was developed. I have debated a tracker here but in my extreme winds I don't think I could get it to survive more than a couple years before needing a major overhaul. As an example I am putting up a ham radio tower right now, it is rated for 30 square feet of wind load and I am only putting 10 square feet on it. Any heavier load and I would see stress fractures in 2 years or less in the tower!

That is a computer controlled az/el rotor for moon tracking but I could just as easily track the sun! But not cheap! $1700 rotor, $3500 tower...


Frank S

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2015, 08:03:40 PM »
When I built 1100 watt array, I did so with the intent to add a tracking system to it which I never added for various reasons the Array sits atop of a 6" sch 80 pipe about 10 ft high at the mounting point.
 U used the mounting ring and actuators from an 8 ft diameter satellite dish and 1 1/2" sq tubing for the panel frame. the Idea was that if I were to buy or possibly learn how to make a unit that could control the actuators I could have east ward morning than slowly move through out the day till sunset then it would park itself over night for the  next day.
 the Array is also set up so I can spin it around by hand which is what I have been doing every day for nearly 3 years now. I just have the actuators locked in position and the motors removed placed in storage until such a time that I might need them. I just rotate the whole assembly from east to west .
 Since my array is only about 40 ft from the battery bank and inverters it hasn't been a huge problem to do this, it is only a bother if I happen to be gone for extended periods of time. or leave in the early morning and forget to turn it to the noon day position before I go. When this happens in the summer the sun reaches critical angularity by 11 AM and I will lose all input by 1 PM, which means no watt hour input for as much as 8 hours that day, meaning I then have to run the generator for several hours or the bank may not run the RV all night.
  This becomes even more acute in the short winter days with only 9 to 10 hours of solar input.
I live so far outside of the box, when I die they will stretch my carcass over the coffin

clockmanFRA

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2015, 04:35:17 AM »
It was this forum, many years ago that got me started on my Trackers. I examined the failure designs such as this......



[ Specified attachment is not available ]

So the tracker and support must be well tied into the ground.
 Here I am using the Mrs to hold my pole still while I cement and adjust the pole mount.



I get a good 35% more power than my static array. In the winter every little helps. But I kept the cost of each of my Trackers below 600 GBP.

My declination is manual, so just a couple of times in the year.

 The East West tilt actuator is a pain, Super Power Jack, the retaining bush at the end of the arm falls out.
 I now I rebuild them. The motor semi circular magnets allways come unstuck and need reattaching with plenty of epoxy. The actuators say they are waterproof, trust me they are not. So I now use a lorry inner tube as a shroud for the extending arm and seal the other bits.

The main weakness is the actuator arm securing points and they need careful attention and some thought out geometry structures to the main frames.

Everything on my mine is balanced on the centre mount so the actuator is working against winds only. If a Bad storm/hurricane winds are approaching then I can release the Declination assembly and this allows the safety hawser to operate, and then the panels go flat with the panel frame edge into the wind.

 9424-3

Whoops sorry David wandered away a bit.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 04:42:20 AM by clockmanFRA »
Everything is possible, just give me time.

OzInverter man. Normandy France.

3off Hugh P's 3.7m Wind T's (9 years).  .. 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (5 yrs) .. 9kW PV AC coupled Used/SH GTI's, on my OzInverter created Grid, and back charging with AC Coupling to the OzInverter to my 48v 1300ah batteries.

Ungrounded Lightning Rod

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2015, 01:28:22 AM »
Glad to see trackers that are working.

I'd looked into a few designs.  One I liked was the one with two tanks of refrigerant gas, a couple shade-reflectors, and a motorcycle shock absorber, that work by the sun pumping the refrigerant between tanks, unbalancing the panel so it rotated to face the sun and balance the weight.  I thought that would work fine with propane for the volatile liquid (when used outdoors and far from the house - like near the propane tank for the heating gas) to make it cheap (though the similar system to close venetian blinds at night and slant them for maximum solar gain in the day would require a nontoxic, nonflammable, working fluid.)

I've looked at trackers for my hypothetical future solar RE component at my Nevada place.  The site is almost always cloudless (at 5015 feet and in a rain shadow, just downwind of a mountain range with the nearest pass at 8,314').  It has no vegetation that shadows the house - because the firebreak requires 50+ feet of bare dirt, then everything after that at least six times as far away as it's height.  (Also:  It's just sage and the like.  No trees for a couple miles on the sunny side.) But it has strong, gusty, winds for part of most days, making mouint strength an issue.  It is in a valley, with mountain shadows cutting off about the first half hour and last hour of daylight.  It has over five acres, so there's no shortage of area limiting the number of panels that can be installed.

For solar at this site, trackers have never made sense to me.  They only get about an extra 27% out of the panels in ideal conditions - and the mountain shadows near sunrise and sunset eat into that terribly.  With panels running well under $1/watt, it makes far more sense to put the money into more panels and maybe more storage than into a tracker.  It also lets me avoid several added points of failure, wear, and/or maintenance (such as the bearings, strong movable frame, wires that get flexed daily, whatever drives it, ...).  It makes more sense to me to put in more panels, accept the cosine error, and just adjust the tilt seasonally, if at all.

IMHO Trackers sometimes made sense when panels were costly, and might still make sense for a site where there is a limited "sweet spot" for the panels but sky visibility from there to both the eastern and western horizon.  But for my situation (lots of area, no obstructions to the south, mountains to the east and west) they look more like a reduction in performance/price ratio and reliability, and an increase in labor.

XeonPony

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2016, 10:43:31 AM »
Is this still availible! It would be an amazing help, I built the hard ware, but been struggling to gather the parts to make one, and have actuaters and run at 12v!

I deff would appreciate it!
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

David HK

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2016, 03:52:12 PM »
Your just in time.

Can you please PM me with your postal address.

David HK

David HK

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Re: Solar tracker for give away
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2016, 03:55:03 PM »
XeonPony,

Have sent you a PM. Please check.


Dave