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SOLAR TRACKING SYSTEM

A Report Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of

Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering

Submitted by Sanjeev Kr. Talukdar, Kalyan Kr. Gogoi, Parviz Rahman Bora, Rezaul Islam
Roll No. DC2009BTE4089,DC2009BTE4101,DC2009BTE4102,DC2009BTE4107

Under Supervision of Kabita Choudhury Assistant Professor

DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRONICS AND COMMUNICATION ENGINEERING


Don Bosco College Of Engineering And Technology Assam Don Bosco University, Guwahati, Assam, India

Abstract
Solar energy is rapidly gaining notoriety as an important means of expanding renewable energy resources. As such, it is vital that those in engineering fields understand the technologies associated with this area. Our project will include the design and construction of a microcontroller-based solar panel tracking system. Solar tracking allows more energy to be produced because the solar array is able to remain aligned to the sun. This system builds upon topics learned in this course. A working system will ultimately be demonstrated to validate the design. Problems and possible improvements will also be presented.

Contents
1 INTRODUCTION 1.0.1 Objectives To Meet The Projects Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0.2 Main Components to be used . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Theoretical Survey 2 . Microcontroller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . 2 . DC Motor 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . Sensors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 . . 3 LITERATURE SURVEY 3 . Paper 1 . . . . . . 1 . 3.1.1 Summary . . 3 . Paper 2 . . . . . . 2 . 3.2.1 Summary . . 3 . Paper 3 . . . . . . 3 . 3.3.1 Summary . . 3 . Paper 4 . . . . . . 4 . 3.4.1 Summary . . 3 . Paper 5 . . . . . . 5 . 3.5.1 Summary . . iv iv iv v v v v vi i vi i vi i vi i vi i vi ii vi ii vi ii vi ii vi ii vi ii x x x

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4 CIRCUIT AND WORKING 4 . BLOCK DIAGRAM 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 . System Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 .

4 . 3

Flowchart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5 PROGRESS 6 CONCLUSION 7 REFERENCES

xi xi ii xi v x v

List of Figures
4 . 1 4 . 2 4 . 3 BLOCK DIAGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Diagram of Horizontal axis Solar Tracker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi xi i x

FLOW CHART . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

Contents
1.0.1 1.0.2 Objectives To Meet The Projects Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Main Components to be used . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv iv

A Solar Tracker is basically a device onto which solar panels are fitted which tracks the motion of the sun across the sky ensuring that the maximum amount of sunlight strikes the panels throughout the day. After finding the sunlight, the tracker will try to navigate through the path ensuring the best sunlight is detected.
The Solar Tracking System is made as a prototype to solve the problem. It is completely automatic and keeps the panel in front of sun until that is visible. The unique feature of this system is that instead of taking the earth as its reference, it takes the sun as a guiding source. Its active sensors constantly monitor the sunlight and rotate the panel towards the direction where the intensity of sunlight is maximum. In case the sun gets invisible e.g. in cloudy weather, then without tracking the sun the Solar Tracker keeps rotating the panel in opposite direction to the rotation of earth. But its speed of rotation is same as that of earths rotation. Due to this property when after some time e.g. half an hour when the sun again gets visible, the solar panel is exactly in front of sun.

The design of the Solar Tracker requires many components. The design and construction of it could be divided into five main parts, each with their main function. They are: 1. Methods of Tracker Mount, 2. Methods of Drives, 3. Sensor and Sensor Controller, 4. Motor and Motor Controller, 5. Tracker Solving Algorithm

1.0.1

Objectives To Meet The Projects Are

1.To design an eective sensor array to provide directional information to guide a major drive system to track the movement of the sun across the sky. 2.The drive will have to position a photo-voltaic panel to the best angle of exposure to sunlight for collection of solar energy. 3.To present and run the Solar Tracker during the end-of-the course presentation.

1.0.2

Main Components to be used

1. Sensor, 2. DC Motor, 3. Panel, 4. Microcontroller

Chapter 2

Theoretical Survey
2.1 Microcontroller

The AT89C51 is a low-power, high-performance CMOS 8-bit microcomputer with 4Kbytes of Flash programmable and erasable read only memory (PEROM). It is compatible with the industry-standard MCS-51 instruction set and pin configuration. Thus the interfacing and programming is same in Intels 8051 microcontroller with an advantage of EPROM technology. That is the same hardware can be improved by changing the program. The AT89C51 provides the following standard features: 4K bytes of Flash, 128 bytes of RAM, 32 I/O lines, two 16-bit timer/counters, a five vector two-level interrupt architecture, a full duplex serial port, on-chip oscillator and clock circuitry. In addition, the AT89C51 is designed with static logic for operation down to zero frequency and supports two software selectable power saving modes. The Idle Mode stops the CPU while allowing the RAM, timer/counters, serial port and interrupt system to continue functioning. The Power-down Mode saves the RAM contents but freezes the oscillator disabling all other chip functions until the next hardware reset.

2.2

DC Motor

: A DC motor is an electric motor that runs on direct current (DC) electricity. DC motors were used to run machinery, often eliminating the need for a local steam engine or internal combustion engine. DC motors can operate directly from rechargeable batteries, providing the motive power for the first electric vehicles. Today DC motors are still found in ap-plications as small as toys and disk drives, or in large sizes to operate steel rolling mills and paper machines. Modern DC motors are nearly always operated in conjunction with power electronic devices.Like all electric motors or generators, torque is produced by the principle of Lorentz force, which states that any current-carrying conductor placed within an external magnetic field experiences a torque or force known as Lorentz force. Brushless DC motors use a rotating permanent magnet or soft magnetic core in the rotor, and sta-tionary electrical magnets on the motor housing. A motor controller converts DC to AC. This design is simpler than that of brushed motors because it eliminates the complication of transferring power from outside the motor to the spinning rotor.

2.3

Sensors

: A sensor is a device that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal which can be read by an observer or by an instrument. 1.The Light Sensor can be used for measurements of light intensity in a variety of situations. 2.Perform inverse square light intensity experiments using a point source of light. 3.Conduct polarized filter studies. 4.Demonstrate the flicker of fluorescent lamps and other lamps. 5.Carry out solar energy

2.3. Sensors

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studies. 6.Perform reflectivity studies. 7.Study light intensity in various parts of a house or school. 8.Use it as part of a study of plant growth to measure light intensity.

Chapter 3

LITERATURE SURVEY
3.1 Paper 1

" Solar Tracker Robot using Microcontroller" by A.B. Afarulrazi, W. M. Utomo, K.L. Liew and M. Zarafi published in 2011 International Conference on Business, Engineering and Industrial Applications.

3.1.1

Summary

In the paper entitled," Solar Tracker Robot using Microcontroller" by A.B. Afarulrazi, W. M. Utomo, K.L. Liew and M. Zarafi published in 2011 International Conference on Business, Engineering and Industrial Applications describes to design and develop an automatic Solar Tracker Robot (STR) which is capable to track maximum light intensity. The eciency of the solar energy conversion can be optimized by receiving maximum light on the solar panel. STR is microcontroller based and built to move the solar panel in one axis, which is from east to west and vice versa. Servo motor is the actuator used to move the solar panel due to the high torque and small in size. The STR will automatically adjust the position of the robot so that it always faces the same direction. This will ensure the solar panel receiving optimum sunlight if external force is applied to move the STR.

3.2

Paper 2

," Design and Construction of an Automatic Solar Tracking System by Md. Tanvir Arafat Khan, S.M. Shahrear Tanzil, Rifat Rahman, S M Shafiul Alam published in 6th International Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering ICECE 2010, 18-20 December 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

3.2.1

Summary

In the paper entitled," Design and Construction of an Automatic Solar Tracking System by Md. Tanvir Arafat Khan, S.M. Shahrear Tanzil, Rifat Rahman, S M Shafiul Alam published in 6th International Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering ICECE 2010, 18-20 December 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh describes a microcontroller based design methodology of an automatic solar tracker. Light dependent resistors are used as the sensors of the solar tracker. The designed tracker has precise control mechanism which will provide three ways of controlling system. A small prototype of solar tracking system is also constructed to implement the design methodology presented here. In this paper the design methodology of a microcontroller based simple and easily programmed automatic solar tracker is presented. A prototype of automatic solar tracker ensures feasibility of this design methodology.

3.3. Paper 3

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3.3

Paper 3

" IMPLEMENTATION OF A PROTOTYPE FOR A TRADITIONAL SOLAR TRACK-ING SYSTEM" by Nader Barsoum published in the 2009 Third UKSim European Sympo-sium on Computer Modeling and Simulation.

3.3.1

Summary

In the paper," IMPLEMENTATION OF A PROTOTYPE FOR A TRADITIONAL SO-LAR TRACKING SYSTEM" by Nader Barsoum published in the 2009 Third UKSim Euro-pean Symposium on Computer Modeling and Simulation describes in detail the design and construction of a prototype for solar tracking system with two degrees of freedom, which detects the sunlight using photocells. The control circuit for the solar tracker is based on a PIC16F84A microcontroller (MCU). This is programmed to detect the sunlight through the photocells and then actuate the motor to position the solar panel where it can receive maximum sunlight. This paper is about moving a solar panel along with the direction of sunlight; it uses a gear motor to control the position of the solar panel, which obtains its data from a PIC16F84A microcontroller. The objective is to design and implement an automated, double-axis solartracking mechanism using embedded system design in order to optimize the eciency of overall solar energy output.

3.4

Paper 4

" Microcontroller Based Solar Tracking System" by Aleksandar Stjepanovic, Sladjana Stjepanovic, Ferid Softic, Zlatko Bundalo published in Serbia,Nis,October 7-9, 2009.

3.4.1

Summary

In the paper entiled," Microcontroller Based Solar Tracking System" by Aleksandar Stjepanovic, Sladjana Stjepanovic, Ferid Softic, Zlatko Bundalo published in Serbia,Nis,October 7-9, 2009 describes the design and construction of a microcontroller based solar panel tracking system. Solar tracking allows more energy to be produce because the solar array is able to remain aligned to the sun. The paper begins with presenting background theory in light sensors and stepper motors as they apply to the project.In the conclusions are given discussions of design results. The paper begins with presenting background theory, light sensors and stepper motors as they apply to the project. The paper continues with specific design methodologies pertaining to photocells, stepper motors and drivers, microcontroller selection, voltage regulation, physical construction, and a software/system operation explanation. The paper concludes with a discussion of design results and future work.

3.5

Paper 5

" Microcontroller-Based Two-Axis Solar Tracking System" by Lwin Lwin Oo and Nang Kaythi Hlaing published in Second International Conference on Computer Research and Development.

3.5.1

Summary

Oo and Nang Kaythi Hlaing published in In the paper entitled," Microcontroller-Based Second International Conference on ComTwo-Axis Solar Tracking System" by Lwin Lwin

3.5. Paper 5

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puter Research and Development describes to develop and implement a prototype of two-axis solar tracking system based on a PIC microcontroller. The parabolic reflector or parabolic dish is constructed around two feed diameter to capture the suns energy.The focus of the parabolic reflector is theoretically calculated down to an infinitesimally small point to get extremely high temperature. This two axis auto-tracking system has also been constructed using PIC 16F84A microcontroller. The assembly programming language is used to interface the PIC with two-axis solar tracking system. The temperature at the focus of the parabolic reflector is measured with temperature probes. This auto-tracking system is controlled with two 12V, 6W DC gear box motors. The five light sensors (LDR) are used to track the sun and to start the operation (Day/Night operation). Time Delays are used for stepping the motor and reaching the original position of the reflector. The two-axis solar tracking system is constructed with both hardware and software implemen-tations. The designs of the gear and the parabolic reflector are carefully considered and precisely calculated.

Chapter 4

CIRCUIT AND WORKING


4.1 BLOCK DIAGRAM

Figure 4.1: BLOCK DIAGRAM

4.2

System Concept

Our design of Solar Tracker is to develop and implement a simplified diagram of a horizontalaxis and active tracker method type of solar tracker fitted to a panel. It will be able to navigate to the best angle of exposure of light from the torchlight. A pair of sensors is used to point the East and West of the location of the light. A scaled-down model of a prototype will be designed and built to test the workability of the tracking system. The center of the drive is a DC motor. Figure shows a schematic diagram of a horizontal-axis solar tracker. This will be controlled via microcontroller program. The designed algorithm will power the motor drive after processing the feedback signals from the sensor array.

4.3. Flowchart xi

Figure 4.2: Diagram of Horizontal axis Solar Tracker The Microcontroller program will also include monitoring and display of light intensity output from the photodiodes. The light detected by the Eastward-facing sensor is at a lower intensity to that detected by the Westward-facing sensor. Hence, the sensor must be turned westwards (by the motor controlled by the solar tracker circuit) until the levels of light detected by both the East and the West sensors are equal. At the point of the solar panel will be directly facing the light and generated electricity optimally. Obviously real world solar trackers are not so simple. A solar tracker must be able to reset itself at sunset so it is ready for sunrise, it must cope with heavy cloud, and it. In addition a mount for the solar panel must be constructed which can cope with strong winds and a suitable motor found.

4.3

Flowchart

4.3. Flowchart xii

Figure 4.3: FLOW CHART

Chapter 5

PROGRESS
We are studying on various IEEE research papers about our Project and related topics to our project. We are studying for the assembly language program to implement in our project. We have made the simplified algorithm with flowchart for our project. We have bought some of our Components but till now we have not got all the components. As soon as we receive all the components we will start working on the hardware section.

Chapter 6

CONCLUSION
A modeling and optimization method from a new point of view is proposed. More factors can be taken into consideration in the future modeling and optimization, such as the sensitivity range of the controlling system which determines when the solar tracker should operate to generate more power or stay still to save energy. The research provides references for solar tracking system designing, and the modeling and optimization method can be modified and applied in other mechanical and electronic systems.

Chapter 7

REFERENCES

1. " Solar Tracker Robot using Microcontroller" by A.B. Afarulrazi, W. M. Utomo, K.L.
Liew and M. Zarafi published in 2011 International Conference on Business, Engineering and Industrial Applications

2. " Design and Construction of an Automatic Solar Tracking System by Md. Tanvir
Arafat Khan, S.M. Shahrear Tanzil, Rifat Rahman, S M Shafiul Alam published in 6th International Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering ICECE 2010, 18-20 December 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh

3. " IMPLEMENTATION OF A PROTOTYPE FOR A TRADITIONAL SOLAR TRACK-ING


SYSTEM" by Nader Barsoum published in the 2009 Third UKSim European Symposium on Computer Modeling and Simulation

4.

" Microcontroller Based Solar Tracking System" by Aleksandar Stjepanovic, Sladjana Stjepanovic, Ferid Softic, Zlatko Bundalo published in Serbia,Nis,October 7-9, 2009

5. " Microcontroller-Based Two-Axis Solar Tracking System" by Lwin Lwin Oo and


Nang Kaythi Hlaing published in Second International Conference on Computer Research and Development

xvi

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