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Author Topic: Solar Trackers, DIY, How to.......  (Read 44814 times)
stannn
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« Reply #75 on: June 10, 2012, 01:41:23 PM »

We're a bit short on pixels, clockman, for the distant views.
Stan
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2.45 kWp PV (Navitron supply), 40 evacuated tubes (Navitron supply), Clearview 650 log burner with back-boiler heating cottage and water, 2 off 50W border collies, 1 off 35W cat, 1 off 25W cat.
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« Reply #76 on: June 10, 2012, 01:44:45 PM »

Panel mounting Brackets.

Nothing exciting here just got a ally stockholder to cut 2inch by 1inch by 1/4 inch, (50 x 25 x 6mm) into 70mm length's 94off.

Pic shows drilling each with 6.1mm dia holes at at 31mm apart, and using a simple jig to ensure all holes are in the same place.

32 odd were then cut  in half to form the bottom holding plate clamps.


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clockmanFR
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« Reply #77 on: June 10, 2012, 01:47:16 PM »

Eye eye stan, will try to adjust, but weather here at present bad and gloomy so flash used, will do better later.
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« Reply #78 on: June 10, 2012, 01:56:40 PM »

Declination adjustment and Storm Parking.

Originally i was just going to arrange for the the panels to lay flat/horizontal by just C of G alone, however these past days with lots of wind the chain arrangement was not practical.

I have now fitted a winding handle that gently positions the tracker for the appropriate time/season of the year. 23.5 degrees on my tracker works out at about 500mm of angle travel so the winding handle just steadies everything while the 2 locking bolts are removed and replaced when required. It also allows for the panels to reach horizontal Storm position safely, and the permently fixed 8mm wire rope can take the load.



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clockmanFR
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« Reply #79 on: June 10, 2012, 02:13:24 PM »

Here's a few more pics regards the actuators and the winding handle arrangement.

I have to be carefull on my old sit on Roper grass mower as the winding handle is at head height. !!!!!


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« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 03:52:31 PM by clockmanFR » Logged

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biff
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« Reply #80 on: June 10, 2012, 03:14:13 PM »

Great work Clockman,
                          You are nearly there.I managed to complete the plumbing on the upstairs hot water cylinder and the new DC immersion is now installed so i just have to connect the new array for testing before making thing more permanent.
                                                      Biff
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« Reply #81 on: June 10, 2012, 03:22:25 PM »

Eye,,Eye, Clockman,
             Hang a piece of white cloth,carpet,or something that will register to the eye,on the winding handle or if possible move the handle up above head height.Its one thing walking into it but it is a lot more serious driving into it holding on to the sterring of the mower,especially in the fading light.You could be miles away planning your next improvements,gazing lovingly at your new array and driving closer to get a better look and suddenly,,darkness,,,,,,,,,,,,
                         Biff
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« Reply #82 on: June 15, 2012, 07:26:47 PM »

Failed.

The top actuator swivel joint, failed. The conical ball joint was just held in/pushed in with a brass bush.  wackoold

So duly modified, and welded the steel around the brass bush, so its now permanent.

The bottom swivel ball joint is held with rivetted plates.  Grin

Note,,,,The swivel joint hole takes a 12mm bolt.



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« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 07:29:29 PM by clockmanFR » Logged

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« Reply #83 on: June 17, 2012, 09:56:59 AM »

FINISHED.  extrahappy
The NEW Design of SOLAR TRAKERS are now finished and working.

The Electronics units from Dave in Australia are working fine, but have taken time to get used to the fast moving clouds, but the tracker does not spend all its time wasting my precious energy hunting for the pin prick of Sun. And when it’s dark, the tracker parks in the East ready for the morning.
I ordered 2 units from Dave, 1 finished and boxed and one kit, (just PCB and bits)…. Total about £130.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200731822513&ssPageName=ADME:L:COSI:GB:1123     and….
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200714107067&ssPageName=ADME:L:COSI:GB:1123    or contact Dave at dave@campatracka.com      or ..David Harvey, 90 Young Road, Cowra, NSW 2794 Australia.

Actuators. I used the 24v versions and I am operating the 36v Actuators with 24 volts, max drain 1.6 amps.     As I said the Actuators, “Genuine Jaeger Heavy duty 24-inch actuator. QARL-3624+”, came from …..£248 for 2.  (Will lift me 90Kg swinging on the tracker panel corner)
http://www.satellitesuperstore.co.uk/satellite_diseqc_motors_36_volt_motors.htm#24inchh    But, and a Big But, you will need to modify/weld the top arm swivel joint, or it will just fall out.

Some details: -     Total weight above ground for each tracker, fully loaded up, is about 245Kg.

So far tested  No 1 Tracker in 50mph winds last week, I left the tracker in noon position for summer angle. And it shook a bit and moved around but the frame did very well. However, if I get information (weather forecast Roll Eyes about bad storms then as I mentioned I can make the whole panel area lay flat/horizontal (storm position).

Total costs             for 3Kw electricity generation for these 2 trackers and control systems are about £3400.
3Kw PV Panels, (seconds, needed mastic sealing repairs) at £1700, see the Main Man.
Controller, Tristar MPPT 60, plus display etc £600.
2 Actuators, £248. and 2 Electronic tracker circuits, £130.
Metal stock, bolts, ally brackets, etc for both trackers, £622.

All I have to do is now upgrade my power management, and sort out the extra dumping arrangements. It is windy and sunny, my 900ah batteries are topping up, the wind turbines are putting 3 Kw in, and the tracker is putting 3.2Kw in, my 3.7kw inverter is loaded, (under floor heating) but I only have 4kw of dumping available,,,,, whoops!  

Last Modification.
The actuator top clamp, it bolts to the frame, (done because I was unsure where the optimum radius position would be), could now be a welded strut if using 24inch actuators, giving a 400mm radius to the hinge joint, in the Pic below I have had to put 2x 6mm stainless bolts tapped through both bits of steel, as the clamp would slowly move about.

Pic 1 .., Trackers at morning East position and my 5 year old. Sunday 17th June 2012, (Fathers Day in France).
Pic 2…Tracker switch box No 1.
Pic 3…Tracker switch box No 2. with Dave’s boxed circuit inside, yes I know it’s not straight but it was the only way to bolt it to my DIN rail.
Pic 4…The 2 off 6mm bolts, modification to the actuator top clamp bracket.



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stannn
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« Reply #84 on: June 17, 2012, 11:24:31 AM »

I am impressed with how quickly you have made these, Clockman. Would you have made the structure differently now that you can see everything?
Stan
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« Reply #85 on: June 17, 2012, 11:40:22 AM »

Hi stan, thanks,

No, I am reasonably happy with the overall concept, especially the frame units, but perhaps it did not need to be so high off the ground.
And i should have designed in the adjustment winding handle at the outset. As i said before, the trackers are out of reach of my welding equipment.

Have a look at the Mrs VID, and watch out for the Black Panther....
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« Reply #86 on: June 17, 2012, 11:55:17 AM »

Very impressive Clockman,
                               And very neat as well.My main fear would be the wind.My own tracker efforts have gone on a "go slow" but we are getting there.Our new hot water cylinder and water heater are both working well and it just remains to connect up the array and bypass the big resistors in the controllers for testing the immersions.
                                                                Biff
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« Reply #87 on: June 17, 2012, 12:18:47 PM »

Cool

Perhaps some guide wires   Biff , attached to the corners of the PV     ralph
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« Reply #88 on: June 17, 2012, 12:34:50 PM »

Very impressive,
            that thing moves like a rocket compared to mine !! I run the trackers on 12v and I'd need time  lapse for a video that short.
   My only question on your design is, why are the actuators attached to little outriggers ( stub arms ?)?? I just see the extra leverage points that it can introduce. I had to put a couple of extra legs off the back at the point that the actuator swings off after the steel bent in a bit of a blow of only 65kmh winds. I had 2 engineers tell me the design I came up with was fool proof, I guess i'm still a fool as I did listen to 'em.
            Apart from that,
                         FANTASTIC!!!
         uber39  
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« Reply #89 on: June 17, 2012, 07:14:05 PM »

Billi,
      Guy wires could be a blessing in a force 10.I have been in the position a few times trying to save newly constructed gables and roofs and i know the power of the wind.I would much rather over engineer than have the job of going around trying to salvage my new panels,but Clockman is an engineer and an exellent one at that so he has the knowhow to work it out and trust his own judgment but me,,well i get the jitters even in a draught.
                       Biff
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