Solar Tracker

Topics: Solar cell, Photovoltaics, Solar energy Pages: 8 (2312 words) Published: June 23, 2013
ABSTRACT

Solar energy is rapidly gaining notoriety as an important means of expanding renewable energy resources. As such, it is vital that those in engineering fields understand the technologies associated with this area. This project includes the design and construction of a microcontroller-based solar panel tracking system. Solar tracking allows more energy to be produced because the solar array is able to remain aligned to the sun. This system builds upon topics learned in this course. To make solar energy more viable, the efficiency of solar array systems must be maximized. A feasible approach for maximizing the efficiency of solar array systems is sun tracking. This is a system that controls the movement of a solar array so that it is constantly aligned towards the direction of the sun. Solar modules are devices that cleanly convert sunlight into electricity and offer a practical solution to the problem of power generation in remote areas. The solar tracker designed and constructed in this project offers a reliable and affordable method of aligning a solar module with the sun in order to maximize its energy output. Automatic Sun Tracking System is a hybrid hardware/software prototype, which automatically provides best alignment of solar panel with the sun, to get maximum output (electricity) ideate the design. Problems and possible improvements will also be presented.

INTRODUCTION

Energy is the primary and most universal measure of all kinds of work by human beings and nature. Primarily, it is the gift of the nature to the mankind in various forms. The consumption of the energy is directly proportional to the progress of the mankind. With ever growing population, improvement in the living standard of the humanity, industrialization of the developing countries, the global demand for energy increases day by day. The primary source of energy is fossil fuel, however the finiteness of fossil fuel resources and large scale environmental degradation caused by their widespread use, particularly global warming, urban air pollution and acid rain, strongly suggests that harnessing of non-conventional, renewal and environmental friendly As the sources of conventional energy deplete day by day, resorting to alternative sources of energy like solar and wind energy has become need of the hour. Solar powered lighting systems are already available in rural as well as urban areas. These include solar lanterns, solar home lightning system, solar street lights, solar garden lights and solar power packs. All of them consist of four components; solar photovoltaic module, rechargeable battery, solar charge controller and load. In the solar powered lightning systems, the solar charge controller plays an important role as the system’s overall success depends mainly on it. It is considered as an indispensible link between the solar panel, battery and load. BLOCK DIAGRAM DESCRIPTION

MICROCONTROLLER
It is the major part of the system. The microcontroller controls all the operations. The solar panel is aligned according to the intensity of sunlight under the control of the microcontroller.

SENSOR
The system consists of two sensors, each composed of LDR. One unit is made up of four LDRs. These are placed at the four corners of the solar panel. The intensity of sunlight is sensed by the LDR and the output is sent to the controller. The control unit analyzes it and decides the direction in which the panel has to be rotated, so that it gets maximum intensity of light.

The other unit of sensor is also composed of LDRs which is meant for the control of a lighting load.

DC MOTOR
DC motor is used to rotate the panel in desired direction. It is controlled by the controller.

SOLAR PANEL
Solar panel is used for the conversion of solar energy directly into electricity. It is composed of photo voltaic cells, which convert solar energy into electrical energy.

LOAD CONTROL
Load control is meant for the control of the load....
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