Is tracking solar worth the hassle?

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carptench

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Hi
I have recently started a pair of dual axis solar arrays. I have the frame work built and mounted and all the cabling in place. I don't plan on using photocells for tracking as they can loose position easily on cloudy days. Its only a small system with 6 x 380 watt panels on each mount.
If anyone is interested I will post some pictures of working progress.
 

binky

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Hi
I have recently started a pair of dual axis solar arrays. I have the frame work built and mounted and all the cabling in place. I don't plan on using photocells for tracking as they can loose position easily on cloudy days. Its only a small system with 6 x 380 watt panels on each mount.
If anyone is interested I will post some pictures of working progress.
do please post pictures. I will also be very interested to see a daily output curve from your system if that is possible.
 

carptench

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Will do Binky. Bit off from production figures yet. Took me while to work out how best to go about the way the dual axis would work. So gone for something different to what I've seen and much more simple to program. Still got lots to get over, some of which has been mentioned.
 

Chris.watling

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In answer to your initial question "is it worth the bother" , well the answer is yes, by tracking the sun you will gain about 30% more power than static panels. Yes you will have a great time designing and making it work. How do I know, well I have three tracking solar arrays each with two 310watt panels, each is controlled with a single Arduino microprocessor, at 7 am each day the unit turns on and points east then at set intervals during the day it starts electrical rams to move each array. A friend of mine created his array by cementing a car axel into the ground and uses a sun tracker to move the array of 9 or so panels. As for planning permission I didn't use the council but the wife gave permission.
 

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carptench

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In answer to your initial question "is it worth the bother" , well the answer is yes, by tracking the sun you will gain about 30% more power than static panels. Yes you will have a great time designing and making it work. How do I know, well I have three tracking solar arrays each with two 310watt panels, each is controlled with a single Arduino microprocessor, at 7 am each day the unit turns on and points east then at set intervals during the day it starts electrical rams to move each array. A friend of mine created his array by cementing a car axel into the ground and uses a sun tracker to move the array of 9 or so panels. As for planning permission I didn't use the council but the wife gave permission.
Great set up. Where are you getting the data for the pre-defined points as it sounds like your not using Photocells? Arduino is also a great choice with so many options and easy to program.
 
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