Design Optimization and Performance Evaluation of a Single Axis Solar Tracker
Панянчук, М. І.
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The paper presents the optimization in design, construction and performance test of a microcontrollerbased, single axis solar panel tracking system, using locally available recoverable materials. The tracking system consists of two light sensors and an automated microcontroller to drive the motor and three batteries. Three parameters were considered: solar intensity, voltage and time of alignment/exposure of solar panel to solar radiation. Current and power were obtained and compared with those of a fixed axis solar panel of same specifications. The solar tracker provided a constant alignment, better orientation of the solar panel relative to the sun; and ensured production of more energy by capturing the maximum of sun rays hitting the surface of the panel from sunrise to sunset. The present study has shown that the solar tracking system could both be optimized in terms of design with a performance increment of 47.5% and cost. The solar tracking system is affordable and found to cost $ 154.00. It is also a sustainable energy solution which would assist in reducing both solid and liquid wastes as well as noise and air pollution.
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