navitron
 
Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Anyone wishing to register as a new member on the forum is strongly recommended to use a "proper" email address. Following continuous spam/hack attempts on the forum, "disposable" email addresses like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail tend to be viewed with suspicion, and the application rejected if there is any doubt whatsoever
 
Recent Articles: Navitron Partners With Solax to Help Create A More Sustainable Future | Navitron Calls for Increased Carbon Footprint Reduction In Light of Earth Overshoot Day | A plea from The David School - Issue 18
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The NEW 2kw Double axis PV Solar Tracker, ?  (Read 8072 times)
clockmanFR
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3584



WWW
« on: May 14, 2013, 10:31:37 PM »

"How to Make a Low cost, Simple and Robust 1.5kw or a 2kw Double Axis PV Solar Tracker".

The Book.

This is the first edition , June 2013, of ‘How to build a PV Solar Tracker’. I will give construction and design amendments where necessary, and these will be found on our web site, http://www.echorenovate.com/solar-energy.php   
I have split the book into several distinct stages of construction, and have also added separate instructions for both the 1.5kw and the 2kw version of the Solar Tracker.


Above is the jist.
Need to post a few items for seeking clarity please.

Stan, might run a few technical things past you, I will ask here.

At the moment mount pole etc are constructed and awaiting approval to go in the ground.ie Mrs let me dig hole.

Roughing out the book, Goodness knows how I will explain to Hugh Piggott that his book is my inspiration?

Just done this general diagram to show the 3 possible power use concepts. I am very dim on the grid tie stuff and the Direct to Inverter load thingy.

Comments? besides my spelling?


* TrackerSystem1.jpg (71.87 KB, 882x700 - viewed 1296 times.)
Logged

Everything is possible, just give me TIME.
clockmanFR
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3584



WWW
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 09:03:52 AM »

"How to Make a Low cost, Simple and Robust 1.5kw or a 2kw Double Axis PV Solar Tracker".

For Forum members that are not tuned into our philosophy, we are, and will operate on a non-profit basis, but would like our printing costs back.

These have been on test in our howling winds and weather for over a year now, and I am too old to start sub-contracting these trackers out to a small fabrication company and deal with all the hassle’s that will entail, marketing, advertising, follow-up etc etc. (been there). So hence the Book.

So while the Mrs is happy with her professional career and earns her 'sous's' for a few more years and pay the household bills, I can play........ extrahappy
Logged

Everything is possible, just give me TIME.
stephendv
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 928



WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 09:06:32 AM »

Hi clockman, congrats with the book!

Do you have an estimate of the costs for the 2kW tracker?  Let's assume one has to buy the steel and concrete new (i.e. not found or donated), and actuator and electronics on ebay.

Logged

http://www.casanogaldelasbrujas.com
2.8kW PV, SMA Sunny Island 5048, 5 PzS 700 battery bank, stinky diesel.
clockmanFR
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3584



WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 09:21:45 AM »

Hi Stephendv,

It all started here:- http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,16743.90.html

And from the Topic post:-

"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."


stephendv, probably a bit cheaper at this moment as PV is better costs, but I did managed some 2kw of top notch YINGLI 250w panels at £1340. But when I say £850 for materials, I mean all NEW materials except the PV controller, that's about £2200 for a 2kw tracker. Trust that helps?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 09:25:29 AM by clockmanFR » Logged

Everything is possible, just give me TIME.
stephendv
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 928



WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 03:16:17 PM »

stephendv, probably a bit cheaper at this moment as PV is better costs, but I did managed some 2kw of top notch YINGLI 250w panels at £1340. But when I say £850 for materials, I mean all NEW materials except the PV controller, that's about £2200 for a 2kw tracker. Trust that helps?

Always interested in the economics of trackers.  So given those costs for PV, you could choose either 2kW tracked or 3kW static at the same price.  Ignoring labour and maintenance costs.
For off-grid it would be interesting to compare a split static array of 1.5kW SE panels + 1.5kW SW panels, versus 2kW tracked.
Logged

http://www.casanogaldelasbrujas.com
2.8kW PV, SMA Sunny Island 5048, 5 PzS 700 battery bank, stinky diesel.
clockmanFR
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3584



WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2013, 09:22:38 PM »

stephendv, For me its squeezing every last drop of sunlight out of the sky and at different times of the year, hence the double axis.

Here in Normandy the sun shines every now and then, and I therefore maximise what is available. The Mrs reckons our Trackers give a 40% increase over our fixed panels, but I think its more like 30%.

For off-grid it would be interesting to compare a split static array of 1.5kW SE panels + 1.5kW SW panels, versus 2kW tracked.

Going on my experience here over the last year, the 2Kw Tracker would win hands down. Remember the tracker can go near full east and nearly full west and can be angled for the suns declination throughout the year.
Logged

Everything is possible, just give me TIME.
stephendv
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 928



WWW
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2013, 10:14:18 PM »

For off-grid it would be interesting to compare a split static array of 1.5kW SE panels + 1.5kW SW panels, versus 2kW tracked.

Going on my experience here over the last year, the 2Kw Tracker would win hands down. Remember the tracker can go near full east and nearly full west and can be angled for the suns declination throughout the year.

But the static would be harvesting more in cloudy and semi-cloudy weather.  It's only under clear skies that the tracker would have the advantage.
Logged

http://www.casanogaldelasbrujas.com
2.8kW PV, SMA Sunny Island 5048, 5 PzS 700 battery bank, stinky diesel.
clockmanFR
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3584



WWW
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2013, 10:37:34 PM »

Err sorry a bit thick this end.

re, "But the static would be harvesting more in cloudy and semi-cloudy weather".

These trackers still follow the sun, they go for the bright spot in the sky, even if its behind a cloud. They look every 6 minutes, and check the light status against previous status. If the sky is just one overcast grey they stay at midday position until light conditions alter.

I use these, See, Daves circuits,
best I have seen;- http://stores.ebay.co.uk/CampaTracka-Solar?_trksid=p2047675.l2563
Logged

Everything is possible, just give me TIME.
stephendv
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 928



WWW
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2013, 10:51:55 PM »

Here's a PVGIS simulation of 2kW dual axis tracked vs 3kW static south facing.  The static does about 20% better in winter, while the tracker does 10% better in summer.






* Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 23.47.42.png (34.98 KB, 311x376 - viewed 1032 times.)

* Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 23.45.16.png (33.37 KB, 309x358 - viewed 1117 times.)
Logged

http://www.casanogaldelasbrujas.com
2.8kW PV, SMA Sunny Island 5048, 5 PzS 700 battery bank, stinky diesel.
M
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5224



« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2013, 07:55:24 AM »

Just some ramblings from me on the 'Fixed v's Tracker' debate:-

Outright muscle is great, especially if cheap, but as you scale it up 100% to 4kWp tracker v's 6kWp fixed you start to hit a lot of extra factors, especially for an on-grid system:

1. UK DNO limits, the tracker (with system losses) will be touching the 3.68kW limit for a lot of the day/year, whilst the fixed system would be under it for a lot more of the time, then over it, with capping. So it could lose out to averaging.

2. Sizing, possibly irrelevant, but could be a factor, systems might be similar sizes on the ground (hard to picture all factors) depending on design layout, but the fixed system could benefit from utilising 'wasted' roof space. There again 6kWp of roof space is unlikely for most people. But garden's may suffer more shading than roof tops etc etc ..... tricky one this.

3. Demand v's Supply curves, I've gone down the route of sheer muscle, but with E/W (ish) panels and shallow angles my generation is very summer orientated, so I don't get much in the winter, and export vast amounts in the summer. Obviously, south facing panels won't suffer as much, and annual gen is less affected by pitch as you get nearer to south orientation, but smaller trackers would still allow a better match of all day demand to all day generation, eg, in the examples given for June the 3kWp fixed gave 356kWh's    v's    the 2kWp tracker's 336kWh's. But I'm willing to bet that the trackers gen is more useable (especially for on-grid) allowing higher consumption of generation (especially early and late) and less export (especially mid day).

4. Tracker downside, personally, I'd spend all day staring at it in fascination, and get even less done!

Mart.
Logged

Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
stephendv
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 928



WWW
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2013, 08:27:59 AM »

All good points Mart.  Also the economics of tracker vs static are slightly off because it assumes that mounting a static array costs nothing.  Clockman, apologies for derailing your thread!  

Back to your design: what do you use for the 24V DC power source to the trackers?
In the diagram you have both a DC isolator and fuses between panels and controller.  As an alternative, you could use DC breakers and kill two birds with 1 stone.

EDIT: and one more thing, can your design be easily scaled down to say 600W ?
Logged

http://www.casanogaldelasbrujas.com
2.8kW PV, SMA Sunny Island 5048, 5 PzS 700 battery bank, stinky diesel.
oliver90owner
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2156


« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2013, 08:31:02 AM »

Coimparing a 3 kW static with 2kW tracked leads me to the following conclusion.

For kW installed the tracker is far superior in winter (total generation for each system in the sbove simulation is irrelevant) and summer, too.  Cloudy skies do not even enter the equation.

The actual cost of the tracker, being dependent on source of materials, will maybe affect the choice of static v. tracker, but any suggestion that static does better than tracking is hogwash.

According to clockman tracker costs are about £1200 per kW - but that does not give a good indication for a one-off, maybe.

With Mart's added comments, it would appear that each installation would need careful assessment, for the most economical installation.  So it may well come down to simple 'panel costs' in the long run, but most certainly nothing to do with cloudy skies...
Logged
stephendv
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 928



WWW
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2013, 08:46:37 AM »

So it may well come down to simple 'panel costs' in the long run, but most certainly nothing to do with cloudy skies...

Spoken like a true on-gridder  Grin 

For off-grid though, the generation during cloudy periods will determine if and when you have to turn the generator on.  So being able to ride through cloudy periods on pure solar is a big win.  And depending on the type of clouds, orientation of the panels doesn't matter as much as pure kW installed.
Logged

http://www.casanogaldelasbrujas.com
2.8kW PV, SMA Sunny Island 5048, 5 PzS 700 battery bank, stinky diesel.
biff
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12065


An unpaid Navitron volunteer who lives off-grid.


« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2013, 08:58:39 AM »

"Spoken like a true offgridder"
                       H,mmmm
                             Biff
Logged

An unpaid Navitron volunteer,who has been living off-grid,powered by wind and solar,each year better than the last one.
M
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5224



« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2013, 10:08:20 AM »

Just some ramblings from me on the 'Fixed v's Tracker' debate:-

2. Sizing, possibly irrelevant, but could be a factor, systems might be similar sizes on the ground (hard to picture all factors) depending on design layout, but the fixed system could benefit from utilising 'wasted' roof space. There again 6kWp of roof space is unlikely for most people. But garden's may suffer more shading than roof tops etc etc ..... tricky one this.

Mart.

Been for a stroll and a ponder, and not happy with the 'bold' bit. Could be the total opposite, since the house roof whilst higher up, may suffer unavoidable shading, so a ground mount (fixed or tracker) may be preferable for some properties. Boy this gets complicated!

Clockman, as Stephen said, apologies for the digression, but I like a good ponder, and the difference between on-grid / off-grid needs had never occurred to me before. Very similar debate on the 'PV storage' thread, with Tiff raising some interesting facts about lithium v's lead. On-gridders might contemplate lithium to pick the low hanging fruit of a little peek-time and night-time storage, with grid backup, whilst off-gridders may prefer the sheer muscle (again) of a larger lead system to cope with unavoidable extremes.

So much to learn, so little time!

Mart.
Logged

Just call me Mart.     Cardiff: 5.58kWp PV - (3.58kWp SE3500 + 2kWp SE2200 WNW)
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
Simple Audio Video Embedder
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!