Solar Tracking System

Mivshek, Austin
The amount of power produced by a solar panel is determined by the amount of sunlight that hits it, and at what angle the light hits the panel. With a fixed panel there is only a small amount of time during the day where the panel is producing at maximum power. For this reason solar tracking systems are implemented to make a solar panel follow the sun throughout the day reducing the misalignment angle of the panel, and producing maximum power for a longer period of time. My senior design project is a single axis tracker that rotates about the vertical axis. The design is fully automated, so once it is set up the user does not need to monitor it, or provide any input. To achieve this design a microcontroller, stepper motor, and three sensors, made using photo resistors, were used. This is just a proof of concept type design, and things such as the motor would need to be bulked up for this system to operate outdoors, in a windy environment. This design can be used to increase the amount of power that can be taken from a solar panel over a full day.
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University of Wyoming Libraries