Dual Axis Solar Tracker

Dual Axis Solar Tracker


What is Dual Axis Solar Tracker?

Before jumping to what are trackers and dual axis solar trackers let’s understand Solar Panels. These are devices that convert sunlight into electricity and are composed of numerous solar cells, typically made from silicon, which generate direct current (DC) electricity when exposed to sunlight through the photovoltaic effect. These panels are used in a variety of applications, from small-scale residential rooftops to large solar farms, contributing to renewable energy generation and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

Now, what are solar trackers?

Solar trackers are devices that orient solar panels or mirrors toward the sun to maximize energy capture. They adjust the angle of the panels or mirrors throughout the day to follow the sun’s path, enhancing the efficiency and energy output of the solar system.

There are two types of solar trackers:

Single-Axis Trackers: These track the sun from east to west, rotating on one axis.

Dual-Axis Trackers: These track the sun from east to west and adjust the tilt angle to follow the sun’s height in the sky, providing even greater efficiency.

By optimizing the angle of solar panels or mirrors, solar trackers can significantly increase the amount of electricity generated compared to fixed-position systems.

Here, we will talk about Dual Axis Solar Trackers.

Dual Axis Solar Tracker

Solar tracking allows more energy to be produced because the solar array can remain aligned to the sun. So, to make solar power systems work more efficiently, we use Dual Axis Solar Tracker.

To understand this concept let’s build a project. This project discusses the development of a prototype for a dual-axis solar tracking system. Here, we will include the design and construction of a microcontroller-based solar panel tracking system:

  • We will design a dual-axis solar tracker that allows solar panels to move on two axes, aligned both north-south and east-west.
  • This type of system is designed to maximize solar energy collection throughout the year so we will make use of the Light Depending Resistor (LDR) which is important to detect sunlight by following the source of the sunlight location.
  • Arduino Uno microcontroller is used to control the motors based on LDR.
  • The drastic improvement in power output from the solar panel can be seen on a LCD Display attached to the system.
  • This system collects free energy from the sun and stores it in the battery and then converts this energy to the respective alternating current. It makes the energy usable in normal homes as an independent power source.

Approach to make a Dual-Axis solar tracker:

  • The system uses four LDRs which are separated by a divider (made of wood or any opaque material) to locate a correct position of direct sunlight.
  • Depending on the direction of sun rays, if not perpendicular to the four LDRs setup, the LDR of one side will get illuminated and due to divider, a shadow will fall on the LDR of the other side.
  • This will create a difference in resistance values of the LDR which will help in the movement of the solar panel in the direction in which the intensity of the sun rays is maximum.
  • The four LDR setup will act as the photo-sensor for this tracker system. LDR acts as input and sense the sun position and the resistance of LDR falls with increasing light intensity. When the LDR receives the light, the resistance becomes low, and the signal is sent to the IR sensor.
  • In this project, the photodiode or phototransistor of the IR-sensor module is replaced with LDR. The IR-sensor module sends an output signal whenever it’s photodiode or phototransistor generates any signal but here, we have replaced its photodiode or phototransistor by LDR, so whenever LDR generates a signal, an output signal is sent by the IR-sensor module to the Arduino microcontroller.
  • The Arduino is programmed to respond according to the signal it receives from the IR-sensor module. The Arduino will run the motors towards the direction depending on the LDR inputs, such that all LDR starts receiving the maximum sunlight. As a result, making the solar panel directly perpendicular to sunlight. The Arduino is programmed in such a way that if the input of all LDRs is high, it will stop the motors and keep the solar panel stationary facing directly towards sunlight.


Here is a video to DIY your own Dual-Axis solar tracker : Click Here


How Dual-Axis solar tracker works?

  • The principle of the solar tracking system is done by Light Dependent Resistor (LDR).
  • Four LDR’s are connected to Arduino analog pin AO to A4 that acts as the input for the system.
  • The built-in Analog-to-Digital Converter will convert the analog value of LDR and convert it into digital.
  • The inputs are from analog value of LDR, Arduino as the controller and the DC motor will be the output.
  • LDR1 and LDR2, LDR3 and LDR4 are taken as pair. If one of the LDR in a pair gets more light intensity than the other, a difference will occur on node voltages sent to the respective Arduino channel to take necessary action.
  • The DC motor will move the solar panel to the position of the high intensity LDR that was in the programming.

The basic working of the system is shown below in the diagram:

Hardware Components used in Dual Axis Solar Tracker Project:

  1. Arduino Uno
  2. Voltage regulator (7805)
  3. Solar Panel
  4. LDR Sensor [4 units]
  5. IR sensor [4 units]
  6. 9-volt battery [2 units]
  7. Motor Driver (L298N)
  8. 10 RPM gear motor [3 units]
  9. 16×2 Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)
  10. A wiper controlled by a switch
  11. 1 K-Ohm Resistor [2 units]

Buy this Project on our website: Here

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