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DUAL AXIS SOLAR TRACKING SYSTEM

ABSTRACT

The solar tracking system is the most common method of increasing the efficiency of solar photo

module. The dual-axis solar tracking system produced 31.3% more power compared with stationary

photo module. Solar energy is considered as an important means of expanding renewable energy

resources. As the solar array is able to remain aligned to the sun, solar tracking allows production of

more energy. One of the methods to increase the efficiency of a PV system is to employ a solar

panel tracking system.

The solar energy is a clean, freely and abundantly available alternative energy source in nature.

Capturing solar energy from nature is an advantageous task for power generation. Conversion of

sun energy into another form is a highly complex phenomenon. For this purpose, Photo-Voltaic

(PV) panels are used which convert Sun energy to Direct Current (DC) electrical energy.

Conventional fixed type PV panels extract maximum energy only during 12 noon to 2 PM which

results in less efficiency. Therefore, building of an automatic solar tracking system is the need of an

hour. PV panels have to be perpendicular with the sun for maximum energy extraction which can be

fulfilled by automatic tracking.

Solar energy is one of the most promising renewable energy resources. Sun trackers can

substantially improve the electricity production of a photovoltaic (PV) system. The control

implementation is a technical innovation that is a simple and effective design.

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INTRODUCTION

Solar energy is clean and available in abundance. Solar technologies use the sun for provision

of heat, light and electricity. These are for industrial and domestic applications. With the alarming

rate of depletion of depletion of major conventional energy sources like petroleum, coal and natural

gas, coupled with environmental caused by the process of harnessing these energy sources, it has

become an urgent necessity to invest in renewable energy sources that can power the future

sufficiently. The energy potential of the sun is immense. Despite the unlimited resource however,

harvesting it presents a challenge because of the limited efficiency of the array cells. The best

efficiency of the majority of commercially available solar cells ranges between 10 and 20 percent.

This shows that there is still room for improvement. This project seeks to identify a way of

improving efficiency of solar panels. Solar tracking is used. The tracking mechanism moves and

positions the solar array such that it is positioned for maximum power output. Other ways include

identifying sources of losses and finding ways to mitigate them.

When it comes to the development of any nation, energy is the main driving factor. There is an

enormous quantity of energy that gets extracted, distributed, converted and consumed every single

day in the global society. Fossil fuels account for around 85 percent of energy that is produced.

Fossil fuel resources are limited and using them is known to cause global warming because of

emission of greenhouse gases. There is a growing need for energy from such sources as solar, wind,

ocean tidal waves and geothermal for the provision of sustainable and power. Solar panels directly

convert radiation from the sun into electrical energy. The panels are mainly manufactured from

semiconductor materials, notably silicon. Their efficiency is 24.5% on the

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higher side. Three ways of increasing the efficiency of the solar panels are through increase of cell

efficiency, maximizing the power output and the use of a tracking system. Maximum power point

tracking (MPPT) is the process of maximizing the power output from the solar panel by keeping its

operation on the knee point of P-V characteristics. MPPT technology will only offer maximum

power which can be received from stationary arrays of solar panels at 1 any given time. The

technology cannot however increase generation of power when the sun is not aligned with the

system. Solar tracking is a system that is mechanized to track the position of the sun to increase

power output by between 30% and 60% than systems that are stationary. It is a more cost effective

solution than the purchase of solar panels. There are various types of trackers that can be used for

increase in the amount of energy that can be obtained by solar panels. Dual axis trackers are among

the most efficient, though this comes with increased complexity. Dual trackers track sunlight from

box axes. They are the best option for places where the position of the sun keeps changing during

the year at different seasons. Single axis trackers are a better option for places around the equator

where there is no significant change in the apparent position of the sun. The level to which the

efficiency is improved will depend on the efficiency of the tracking system and the weather. Very

efficient trackers will offer more efficiency because they are able to track the sun with more

precision. There will be bigger increase in efficiency in cases where the weather is sunny and thus

favorable for the tracking system

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BLOCK DIAGRAM

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LOAD

INVERTER
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BATTERY

POWER SUPPLY MICROCONTROLLE

LDR SENSOR

WORKING PRINCIPLE
SOLAR PANEL MO

Automatic Solar Tracker is composed of Microcontrollers, Sensors, Rechargeable Batteries,

Solar Panel, Motors and mechanical motion control modules and power supply systems.Solar Panel

detects the sun light strength through LDR sensors. The sensors output is given to the

Microcontroller which compares it and produces an equivalent output so as to rotate the motor and

align the panel in the direction of the sun.

With the alarming rate of depletion of the major energy resources worldwide, it has become an

urgent necessity to seek for renewable energy resources that will power the future. According to the

worldwide market economy, the increasing demand for energy had forced to put a huge price tag on

natural combustible sources of energies. In fact, it has been predicted that in the near future the

demand of energy will grow in such a rate that it will be completely impossible to find out or meet

the demand with the resources that we had been using for so long, such as oil, gas, coal, etc. This

issue throws a positive challenge to the scientific community as more and more funds are being
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allocated for the research and development of new alternatives. In this context I have concentrated

my focus on the research of renewable energy. Among these renewable energy resources solar

energy is one of a kind. In todays world there is a growing demand to find greener ways to power

the world and minimize greenhouse gas emission. The sun is a natural power source that will keep

on shining for an estimated 4 billion years.

Figure 1: PV panel module

Solar power (photovoltaic) systems are a sustainable way to convert the energy of the sun into

electricity as shown in Figure 1.The world population is increasing day by day and the demand for

energy is increasing accordingly. Oil and coal as the main source of energy nowadays, is expected

to end up from the world during the recent century which explores a serious problem in providing

the humanity with an affordable and reliable source of energy. The need of the hour is renewable

energy resources with cheap running costs. Solar energy is considered as one of the main energy

resources in warm countries.

In general, India has a relatively long sunny day for more than ten months and partly cloudy

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sky for most of the days of the rest two months. This makes our country, especially the desert sides

in the west, which include Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh etc. very rich is solar energy. Many

projects have been done on using photovoltaic cells in collecting solar radiation and converting it

into electrical energy but most of these projects did not take into account the difference of the sun

angle of incidence by installing the panels in a fixed orientation which influences very highly the

solar energy collected by the panel. As we know that the angle of inclination ranges between -90

degrees after sun rise and +90 degrees before sun set passing with 0 degrees at noon. This makes

the collected solar radiation to be 0% at sun rise and sun set and 100% at noon. This variation of

solar radiations collection leads the photovoltaic panel to lose more than 40% of the collected

energy. Fig.2 shows the yearly sun path at the latitude of 30 degrees.

Fig. 2 Sun path at latitude of 31 degrees.

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Month and at any time during the day. The position is decided by two angles in spherical

coordinates; the Altitude angle which is the angle of the sun in the vertical plane in which the sun

lies, and the Azimuth angle which represents the angle of the projected position of the sun in the

horizontal plane. These two angles will be discussed deeply later in this document. Fig. 3 shows a

curve for the relationship between the solar radiation and the solar angle of incidence. This figure

shows that solar radiations falling on the solar array will be maximum when the angle of incidence

on the panel is 0 degrees which means that the panel is perpendicular to the sun.

Solar tracking obviously addresses these issues by actively following the sun in the sky. A standard

PV panel will observe about 20-35% efficiency under ideal conditions, while solar tracking has

been known to potentially double that with 50-60% efficiency under ideal conditions.

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COMPONENTS USED

The following are the hardware components used in the project:

1.Micro Controller - PIC 16F877A

2.ULN2803

3.LCD 16 X 2

4.Regulator - 7805

5.Power Supply Bridge Rectifier

6.Crystal Oscillator 8 Mhz

7.Potentiometer

8.DC Motor 12 Volt

9.Relay 5 Volt

10.Capacitor 470 uf

11.Zener Diode 4148

12.LDR

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Advantages

Eco-Friendly
Tracking accuracy is more

Trackers generate more electricity than their stationary counterparts due to increased direct

exposure to solar rays.

Solar trackers generate more electricity in roughly the same amount of space needed for

fixed tilt systems, making them ideal for optimizing land usage.

It is beneficial to generate a greater amount of electricity during these peak times of day.

Using a tracking system helps maximize the energy gains during these peak time periods.

Advancements in technology and reliability in electronics and mechanics have drastically

reduced long-term maintenance concerns for tracking systems.

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Applications

Remote area power systems

Earth-orbiting satellites and space probes

Remote radiotelephones

Agriculture and so on

FUTURE WORKS

In many developed countries, solar arrays are connected to grids and from there; the energy is

distributed to the neighborhood. This technology is yet to come to my country. Also, those grids are

supported by moveable arrays of solar panels so that maximum output can be harvested. But

unfortunately, all the panels that are currently used in my country are all fixed arrays and thus

energy depletes with the sun changing its position. Importing sun tracker from abroad would make

solar home system even more expensive. My prototype needs DC source to work but that would be

much unexpected if I do not find an alternative for this. So I will have to make this model better in

such a way that it can drive the motor and the consumers at the same time without any requirement

of external power supply. Also, I have plans for implementing the whole system in a larger scale

and in a more efficient way (in both commercial and economical way) and carry out further

research on it to see how much feasible and beneficent it can be for our country. My country is in a

severe power crisis and we can expect this to rise to an unbearable level if something is not done

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soon enough. Being a sunny country, we can utilize this rarely used form of energy to our own

benefit.

CONCLUSION

Automatic Solar Tracker are used to continually orient photovoltaic panels towards the sun

and can help maximize your investment in your PV system. They are beneficial as the sun's position

in the sky that will change gradually over the course of a day and over the seasons throughout the

year. They can be used most effectively in areas with low horizons and locations that are shade free

from dawn to dusk each day.

Throughout the year the tracking array will be able to utilize the wide open access to gain

every available electron from the sun. This way, energy production is at an optimum and energy

output is increased year round. Advantages to using a tracker system like this will depend mainly on

it's placement in determining how well it will increase the effectiveness of the panels. This is

especially significant through out the summer months with its long days of sunlight available to

capture and when, at many Northern latitudes, the sun rises in the northeast and sets in the

northwest, no energy will be lost. For those with limited space this means that a smaller array only
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needs to be installed, a huge advantage for those smaller sites with only a small area to place

equipment; they will be able to produce maximum energy output but only need to utilize one of the

smaller solar home systems.

REFERNECES

[1] Okpeki U.K. otuagoma.S.O Design and Construction of a BiDirectional Solar Tracking

System Research Inventy: International Journal Of Engineering And Science Issn: 2278-4721, Vol.

2, Issue 5 (February 2013), Pp 32-38

[2] K. Sreenivasa Rao1, M. Mahesh,ARM Based Solar Tracking System International Journal of

Modern Engineering Research (IJMER) ,Vol.2, Issue.4, July-Aug. 2012 pp-2504-2507 ISSN: 2249-

6645

[3] Tiberiu Tudorache, Liviu Kreindler Design of a Solar Tracker System for PV Power Plants

Vol. 7, No. 1, 2010

[4] J. A. Beltran, J. L. S. Gonzalez Rubio, C.D. Garcia-Beltran: Design,Manufacturing and

Performance Test of a Solar Tracker Made by an Embedded Control, CERMA 2007, Mexico

[5] O. Stalter, B. Burger, S. Bacha, D. Roye: Integrated Solar Tracker Positioning Unit in

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Distributed Grid-Feeding Inverters for CPV Power Plants, ICIT 2009, Australia

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