Design and Implementation of a Dual Axis Solar Tracker Using Arduino Microcontroller
Keywords:Dual Axis Tracker, Solar Irradiation, Solar Panel, Stepper Motors, Tilt Angle.
AbstractEnergy is pivotal to the human and capital development of any nation; hence, the ever growing quest to discover reliable and sustainable energy sources. Researches on renewable energy sources ranging from wind, tidal, hydro power and solar energy is on-going; all geared towards providing better electrical energy source. Solar energy, however, holds a very promising future as far as sustainable energy solution is concerned. It is silent, green, with zero negative impact to the globe and no pollution. Unlike the conventional energy sources from fossil fuel, it reduces greatly the impact of global warming and remains endless. The developed solar tracker has two automatic tracking axis for both the zenith daily and the azimuth annually as well as displaying in real-time solar irradiation and tilt angles on the mounted LCD. The self-controlled tracking is achieved by using a MEGA2560 microcontroller board, programmed to read analog values from an array of LDRs, convert them to digital values, compare them and drive the stepper motors in the desired direction until equal light is sensed by alternate LDRs. At this point, the panel is aligned perpendicular to the sun rays to capture the maximum possible energy. A working prototype is successfully designed and constructed. The testing revealed very precise tracking made possible by using micro-stepping modes of the stepper motors. This also gave a very high tracking accuracy of about Â±0.0560.
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