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Author Topic: Solar Trackers, DIY, How to.......  (Read 46090 times)
clockmanFR
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« Reply #90 on: June 17, 2012, 08:03:00 PM »

Hi Uber 39, the "outriggers" are infact mounting spacers to bring the actuator away from fouling with any structure.

This Tracker design has Declination/angle adjustment for the different times of the year as the Earth tilts 23.5 degrees on its axis. So the arm it is secured onto has 12mm dia holes in it at Mid winter up to Mid summer. This arm is doubled up and passes both sides of the main mounting pole, but the east arm is extra longer for allowing the tracker to storm park and extra strong for the Actuator arm to be secured to.

Both "outriggers" are 50 x 50 x 6m  and the base one is short 80mm long, is welded closed with 8 mm thick end plates,  with the 12mm dia bolt hole, its not going anywhere, probably the 12mm dia bolt will shear first.
The top "outrigger" was really designed to find the safe working radius for full East West Travel and was just a clamp arrangement, but some time in the future this wants a gusseted strut attached to the frame work boxing.

For short distances a good thick bit of angle is incredibly strong, but the joint to box is insufficient as the 3mm wall of the box will just rip away!!!!, so a gusset along the edge of the box to the angle will be required, say 2 off 50 x 50 x 6mm triangle shape. And one face of the angle must be allowed to completely cover the box section as it adds to the strength but then welding weakens the box, remember the corner sections are the strength.   But when welding i normall weld away from the corner itself by about at half the thickness of the box section, this then keeps the integral strength of the corner of box with out ripping the whole corner out if the joint failed.

Try it some time on a test piece and use a sledge hammer to smash it away.

Biff, as you can see i have the storm 8mm wire rope permanently fixed. The C of G of the whole tracker when in storm parking is trying to tip backwards, this wire rope will not allow that. When setting up the actuators i used lorry load tie down web straps which have good hooks and a simple but strong ratchet mechanism, these will be allways on standby if required.
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biff
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« Reply #91 on: June 17, 2012, 08:43:52 PM »

Dont worry Clockman,
                          I have good faith in your engineering and i am sure you have ticked all the boxs.Its up to me now to get off my derry air and get my own effort up and running soon.
                                       Biff
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clockmanFR
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« Reply #92 on: June 24, 2012, 08:07:18 PM »

It seems my Cost discription is as clear as Mud!  Roll Eyes says knighty.

So here it is again....
TRACKER COSTS.

At present the best price per tracker I can achieve is about 700 each for the materials, but not the controller or the PV panels.

My design can be safely stretched to 2Kw, or 8off  1.6m by 1m panels, (mine are 1.4m by 1m), with only a slight addition on the 4 cross rails and readjustment spacing on the down rails the PV panels bolt onto.

Total costs for 3Kw electricity generation for my 2 trackers INCLUDING control systems, PV panels and controller is about 3400.

As regards 2Kw tracker then PV at 1120, and tracker with sun tracker circuit and actuator and materials approximately 850, but you will need a PV controller.

As I have said, i have preliminary tested mine but await the Winter to see how my 2 trackers fair, and then I, (sorry we, Mrs) will publish a cheap small booklet with all drawings and pics and details on "HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SOLAR TRACKER".  (with input by Stann and contributions from other sage's).

Interestingly, in the old days i knew allot of fabricators that would have made up say 5 at a time in their spare time, when contracts were slack, nowadays, sorry to say, most have gone (retired).
But still it's not rocket science to make jigs, and holding clamps, and get stuff hot dipped Galver.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 08:09:53 PM by clockmanFR » Logged

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« Reply #93 on: June 27, 2012, 09:50:40 PM »

SKF are now producing a range of Tracker actuators....
(20th June 2012).


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« Reply #94 on: December 01, 2012, 06:15:39 PM »

Just an update on the modification to the Actuator bottom mounting and the adjustable declination arms.


Pic 1, Shows Tracker No2 with the original design of actuator bottom mount attached to the adjustable Declination arms.
However, unless these declination arms were perfect radial arms, with adjustable mount holes that are radius to the main tracker swivel pin, then the bottom actuator bracket would slightly get out of alignment, regards the mid day position at max summer and max winter declinations.
 Its not much, but it annoyed me. yes could do it with some laser cut sheet that is radial, but then that just increases the cost.

Other pics, (December 1st 2012), are Tracker No1 with the new refinements. I have separated the actuator bottom mount and this is mounted to the triangular frame that is permanently attached to the none moving frame but still moves for declination.
 I have also added steel alignment strips to the adjustment arms lock of points, so in a heavy storm the arms can not jump out/escape.

On Tracker No2, the new 2kw job, i will simplify the design a bit on the declination and bottom actuator bracket.

Oh yes, biff, mods mean i no longer hit my head with the mowing machine! Grin


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« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 06:20:06 PM by clockmanFR » Logged

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