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Dual Axis Solar Tracker

Abstract

For the most part our common every day solar cells run at an efficiency of 18-20%,
meaning they convert 18-20% of the sunlight into electricity. While this is far better
than the 3-6% efficiency that most green plants end up with, it doesn't quite meet
our power needs. To bring in enough power we either need to improve the
efficiency of our panels or find ways of getting more from our current solar panels.
Every panel you see in your day to day life is in a fixed position, most likely facing
south at a 45 degree angle. While this approach is extremely simple and meets the
needs of most small applications, it isn't producing as much energy as it could be.
The single simplest way of getting more energy out of a solar panel is to have it
track the sun. In fact solar panels that track the sun create around 30% more energy
per day than a fixed panel. With that kind of power increase you'd think everyone
would be doing it, but there are some good reasons why it's not overly common.
First, the initial cost of setup is higher since it requires moving parts. Second, it also
require maintenance and upkeep since they'd be exposed to outdoors conditions
year round. Third, you'd need to power this equipment in order to keep it running
and moving which then takes away from your output. For most applications and
home use, tracking is overkill. We typically don't see tracking used unless it's in
large industrial power generation systems. Though that doesn't mean you can't
make your own version at home.
 Block Diagram:
Operation:

 Arduino Uno:

Arduino Uno is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega328P. It has 14


digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog
inputs, a 16 MHz quartz crystal, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP
header and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the
microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power
it with AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started. You can tinker with your
UNO without worrying too much about doing something wrong, worst case
scenario you can replace the chip for a few dollars and start over again.
Specifications and Features:
 Microcontroller: ATmega328
 Operating Voltage: 5V
 Input Voltage (recommended): 7-12V
 Digital I/O Pins: 14 (of which 6 provide PWM output)
 Analog Input Pins: 6
 DC Current per I/O Pin: 40 mA
 DC Current for 3.3V Pin: 50 mA
 Flash Memory: 32 KB of which 0.5 KB used by boot loader
 SRAM: 2 KB (ATmega328)
 EEPROM: 1 KB (ATmega328)
 Clock Speed: 16 MHz
 Arduino IDE Software:

The Arduino Integrated Development Environment - or Arduino Software (IDE) -


contains a text editor for writing code, a message area, a text console, a toolbar
with buttons for common functions and a series of menus. It connects to the
Arduino and Genuino hardware to upload programs and communicate with them.

Writing Sketches

Programs written using Arduino Software (IDE) are called sketches. These sketches
are written in the text editor and are saved with the file extension .ino. The editor
has features for cutting/pasting and for searching/replacing text. The message area
gives feedback while saving and exporting and also displays errors. The console
displays text output by the Arduino Software (IDE), including complete error
messages and other information. The bottom righthand corner of the window
displays the configured board and serial port. The toolbar buttons allow you to
verify and upload programs, create, open, and save sketches, and open the serial
monitor.
Arduino UNO Software Toolbar:

Verify
Checks your code for errors compiling it.

Upload
Compiles your code and uploads it to the configured board.
See uploading below for details.

Note: If you are using an external programmer with your board, you
can hold down the "shift" key on your computer when using this icon.
The text will change to "Upload using Programmer"

New
Creates a new sketch.

Open
Presents a menu of all the sketches in your sketchbook. Clicking one
will open it within the current window overwriting its content.

Note: due to a bug in Java, this menu doesn't scroll; if you need to open
a sketch late in the list, use the File | Sketchbookmenu instead.

Save
Saves your sketch.

Serial Monitor
Opens the serial monitor.
 Solar Panel:

Solar panels absorb the sunlight as a source of energy to


generate electricity or heat. A photovoltaic (PV) module is a packaged, connect
assembly of typically 6x10 photovoltaic solar cells. Photovoltaic modules constitute
the photovoltaic array of a photovoltaic system that generates and supplies solar
electricity in commercial and residential applications. Each module is rated by
its DC output power under standard test conditions (STC), and typically ranges from
100 to 365 Watts (W).

Solar Panel Layers:


Here are the different layers of a photovoltaic solar module:

Face-Plate (ESG)

The first layer is a 4mm thick ESG glass plate (safety glass), which is not only impact-
, pressure- and temperature-resistant, but also shock-proof. For area loads in snow
and wind load zone 3, values of 5400 N/m2 should be adhered to. Applying an anti-
reflective coating to the cover glass will reduce reflections and increase the
module's output power.

Upper encapsulating film (EVA)

A plastic layer made from EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) or a cast resin layer is
inserted as the upper moisture barrier. The plastic films are welded (laminated)
onto the solar cells at temperatures around 150°C forming a water-proof corrosion
protection.

Solar cells

Single solar cells, interconnected with each other, produce electric power.

Lower encapsulating film (EVA)

A plastic layer made from EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) or a cast resin layer is
inserted as the lower moisture barrier. The plastic films are welded (laminated)
onto the solar cells at temperatures around 150°C forming a water-proof corrosion
protection.

Tedlar laminated film

A plastic layer made from polyvinyl fluoride, better known under the trade name
Tedlar and ICOSOLAR, or a glass plate is used as finish on the back side.

Frame

To give stability to the different layers and to facilitate the assembly, the module is
enclosed in an aluminum frame.
 Photovoltaic Effect:

Photovoltaic effect, process in which two dissimilar materials in close contact


produce an electrical voltage when struck by light or other radiant energy. Light
striking crystals such as silicon or germanium, in which electrons are usually not
free to move from atom to atom within the crystal, provides the energy needed to
free some electrons from their bound condition. Free electrons cross the junction
between two dissimilar crystals more easily in one direction than in the other,
giving one side of the junction a negative charge and, therefore, a negative voltage
with respect to the other side, just as one electrode of a battery has a negative
voltage with respect to the other. The photovoltaic effect can continue to provide
voltage and current as long as light continues to fall on the two materials. This
current can be used to measure the brightness of the incident light or as a source
of power in an electrical circuit, as in a solar power system.
 Voltage Divider Circuit Calculator - For LDR

A light-dependent resistor (LDR) connects to a voltage divider circuit, also known


as a potential divider (PD), for proper circuit operation. There are two
configurations of the circuit depending upon the position of the LDR within the
potential divider network.
You can have a configuration where the voltage output (Vout) increases as light
increases or one where the voltage output decreases as light increases. The
following calculators and their respective formulas show how both configurations
work.
 Motor Driver L293D:

Working of L293D:

There are 4 input pins for l293d, pin 2,7 on the left and pin 15 ,10 on the right as
shown on the pin diagram. Left input pins will regulate the rotation of motor
connected across left side and right input for motor on the right hand side. The
motors are rotated on the basis of the inputs provided across the input pins as
LOGIC 0 or LOGIC 1.In simple you need to provide Logic 0 or 1 across the input pins
for rotating the motor.

L293D Logic Table:

Let’s consider a Motor connected on left side output pins (pin 3,6). For rotating the
motor in clockwise direction the input pins has to be provided with Logic 1 and
Logic 0.

Pin 2 = Logic 1 and Pin 7 = Logic 0 | Clockwise Direction


Pin 2 = Logic 0 and Pin 7 = Logic 1 | Anticlockwise Direction
Pin 2 = Logic 0 and Pin 7 = Logic 0 | Idle [No rotation] [Hi-Impedance state]
Pin 2 = Logic 1 and Pin 7 = Logic 1 | Idle [No rotation]
 DC Geared Motor:

A geared DC Motor has a gear assembly attached to the motor. The speed of motor
is counted in terms of rotations of the shaft per minute and is termed as RPM .The
gear assembly helps in increasing the torque and reducing the speed. Using the
correct combination of gears in a gear motor, its speed can be reduced to any
desirable figure. This concept where gears reduce the speed of the vehicle but
increase its torque is known as gear reduction. This Insight will explore all the
minor and major details that make the gear head and hence the working of geared
DC motor.

Description:

The 12V DC Geared Motor can be used in variety of robotics applications and is
available with wide range of RPM and Torque.

Specification:

• Length: 80mm
• Torque: 1.5 kg.cm
• Shaft Diameter: 6mm
• Weight: 130.00g
 Lead Acid Battery:

Working of Lead Acid Battery

The storage battery or secondary battery is such battery where electrical energy
can be stored as chemical energy and this chemical energy is then converted to
electrical energy as when required. The conversion of electrical energy into
chemical energy by applying external electrical source is known as charging of
battery. Whereas conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy for supplying
the external load is known as discharging of secondary battery.
During charging of battery, current is passed through it which causes some
chemical changes inside the battery. This chemical change absorbs energy during
their formation.
When the battery is connected to the external load, the chemical changes take
place in reverse direction, during which the absorbed energy is released as
electrical energy and supplied to the load.
Now we will try to understand principle working of lead acid battery and for that
we will first discuss about lead acid battery which is very commonly used as
storage battery or secondary battery.
Materials used for Lead Acid Storage Battery Cells:

The main active materials required to construct a lead acid battery are
1. Lead peroxide (PbO2).
2. Sponge lead (Pb)
3. Dilute sulfuric acid (H2SO4).
Lead Peroxide (PbO2)

The positive plate is made of lead peroxide. This is dark brown, hard and brittle
substance.
Sponge Lead (Pb)
The negative plate is made of pure lead in soft sponge condition.
Dilute Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4)
Dilute sulfuric acid used for lead acid battery has ration of water : acid = 3:1.
The lead acid storage battery is formed by dipping lead peroxide plate and sponge
lead plate in dilute sulfuric acid. A load is connected externally between these
plates. In diluted sulfuric acid the molecules of the acid split into positive hydrogen
ions (H+) and negative sulfate ions (SO4 − −). The hydrogen ions when reach at
PbO2 plate, they receive electrons from it and become hydrogen atom which again
attack PbO2 and form PbO and H2O (water). This PbO reacts with H2 SO4 and forms

PbSO4 and H2O (water). SO4 − − ions are


moving freely in the solution so some of them will reach to pure Pb plate where
they give their extra electrons and become radical SO4. As the radical SO4 cannot
exist alone it will attack Pb and will form PbSO4.
+ −−
As H ions take electrons from PbO2 plate and SO4 ions give electrons to Pb plate,
there would be an inequality of electrons between these two plates. Hence there
would be a flow of current through the external load between these plates for
balancing this inequality of electrons. This process is called discharging of lead acid
battery.
1. Both of the plates are covered with PbSO4.
2. Specific gravity of sulfuric acid solution falls due to formation of water during
reaction at PbO2 plate.
3. As a result, the rate of reaction falls which implies the potential
difference between the plates decreases during discharging process.
Now we will disconnect the load and connect PbSO4 covered PbO2 plate with
positive terminal of an external DC source and PbO2 covered Pb plate with
negative terminal of that DC source. During discharging, the density of sulfuric
acid falls but there still sulfuric acid exists in the solution. This sulfuric acid also
remains as H+ and SO4 − − ions in the solution. Hydrogen ions (cation) being
positively charged, move to the electrode (cathode) connected with negative
terminal of the DC source. Here each H+ ion takes one electron from that and
becomes hydrogen atom. These hydrogen atoms then attack PbSO4 and form
lead and sulfuric acid. SO4 − − ions (anions) move
towards the electrode (anode) connected with positive terminal of DC source
where they will give up their extra electrons and become radical SO4. This radical
SO4 cannot exist alone hence reacts with PbSO4 of anode and forms lead
peroxide (PbO2) and sulfuric acid (H2SO4).
Hence by charging the lead acid
storage battery cell,
1. Lead sulfate anode gets converted into lead peroxide.
2. Lead sulfate of cathode is converted to pure lead.
3. Terminal; potential of the cell increases.
4. Specific gravity of sulfuric acid increases.
 Circuit Diagram:
 Program:

#include <Servo.h>
Servo myservo;
int ldr1;
int ldr1Val;
int ldr2;
int ldr2Val;
int ldr3;
int ldr3Val;
int ldr4;
int ldr4Val;
int m21=6;
int m22=7;
int pos=60;
int angle;
void setup() {
// put your setup code here, to run once:
myservo.attach(9);
myservo.write(pos);
pinMode(A0, INPUT); //A0 FOR LDR4
pinMode(A1, INPUT); //A1 FOR LDR3
pinMode(A2, INPUT); //A2 FOR LDR2
pinMode(A3, INPUT); //A2 FOR LDR1
pinMode(m21, OUTPUT);
pinMode(m22, OUTPUT);
}
void loop() {
// put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
ldr4= analogRead(A0); //READ LDR1 VALUE
ldr4Val=(5*ldr4)/1023;
ldr3= analogRead(A1); //READ LDR2 VALUE
ldr3Val=(5*ldr3)/1023;
ldr2= analogRead(A2); //READ LDR3 VALUE
ldr2Val=(5*ldr2)/1023;
ldr1= analogRead(A3); //READ LDR4 VALUE
ldr1Val=(5*ldr1)/1023;
angle=myservo.read();
delay(50);
if (ldr3Val>=4)
{

digitalWrite(m21, HIGH);
digitalWrite(m22, LOW);
delay(100);
digitalWrite(m21, LOW);
digitalWrite(m22, LOW);
}

else if (ldr4Val>=4)
{
digitalWrite(m21, LOW);
digitalWrite(m22, HIGH);
delay(100);
digitalWrite(m21, LOW);
digitalWrite(m22, LOW);
}

else if (ldr2Val>=4)
{
if (angle>30)
{
pos=angle-5;
myservo.write(pos);
delay(200);
}
}

else if (ldr1Val>=4)
{
if (angle<120)
{
pos=angle+5;
myservo.write(pos);
delay(200);
}
}
delay(50);