Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 23, 2008

Sun Tracking Solar Panel System

at 5:22 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks


I have been thinking about some green ways of depending on the grid as much as I do. There are so many things that can be done but most are very expensive unless you use some build some of it yourself. Have a look at this solar and wind system that uses some home made sun tracking units.

"The systems tracks the Sun using a controller from Red Rock Energy and a Satellite Jack Arm. The tracking device is custom made. The accuracy is very good and the arrays are very synchronous throughout the day. They begin parking movement (East) exactly when the Sun dips below the horizon to get ready for the next day. The Photovoltaic panels are consisting of 24 Uni-solar 64’s. On the day the picture above was taken the system was producing 2200 watts, both PV and Wind at 1:30 pm in Sept."


Staxyn a containing taken mouth the of dysfunction in men www.vimalacollege.edu.in/us/staxyn-generic.html . Staxyn saved more our than other we all was...

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15 Responses to “Sun Tracking Solar Panel System”

  1. Alexander Says:

    Solar power is only viable if EVERYBODY does it. The thing about the sun and solar is that efficiency stays the same no matter how big of an area you use. So for everybody to have enough power all the time, we will need to have so many arrays that every single flat surface would have them on there.

    Then we would need such huge battery banks to store the energy when we aren’t using it that much (Such as during the day, when everybody is at work) and a power infrastructure to let the areas that are producing more distribute it back to the areas that are using more.

    Which is NOT THE GRID as it is now. The Grid is a horrible and vastly outdated system that needs to be updated.

  2. Networking Demi-God Says:

    The grid as it is, is in sad shape, but there are steps being made to eliminate the wasted power that many grids leak. The smart grid, which was originally developed for rural co-ops to watch their power usage and consumption, as well as do remote meter readings is leading the way for a newer smart grid that would more readily accept systems that produce their own electricity and feeds it back into the larger picture. A plus that comes with a smart grid is the ability of broadband of power (BOP) that would let you plug in an adapter to your outlet, pop in a verification CD that tells the system to turn on the service. The speeds we’re talking about over BOP are equal to or better than say Verizon FIOS. The even better thing is that 99.9% of everyone is already equipped to handle it, just a new meter is needed.

  3. oinalem Says:

    how many kilowatts per day that it can store.

  4. Networking Demi-God Says:

    Storage isn’t tied to the size of the panel, but the size of the battery array it’s hooked too.

  5. Banev Says:

    See this movie:


    our Sun Tracker web cam: http://integral2005.com/online.html

  6. Solar Hot Water Panel with Sun Tracker - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] left a comment on this sun tracker project that shows his cool Solar Hot Water Panel with Sun Tracker in operation. The panels follow the sun […]

  7. AVI Says:

    In response to alexander,

    the world average energy need is 1.5*10^13 W. If the entire world was covered with totally efficient solar cells we could get 10^7 W of energy. So even with solar panel efficiencies what they are today, (20%) much less than 1 thousanth of the surface would have to be covered.

  8. Alexander Says:

    There are some problems with your logic, and math, AVI.

    1. This scenario requires the use of super-conductor wires to get the power from the sun that is shining in Australia to let me run my AC at night in Cleveland, USA. This isin’t possible, but even taking into consideration that the wires are somewhere near 7% the world over. So, we must also take this into consideration.

    2. You cannot put solar cells just anywhere on the earth. The ocean is your biggest enemy here. Once you take out all the surface area of the ocean, you are left with just over 148,000,000 square kilometers of land. or about 29% of the total surface area of the earth. This too must be taken into consideration.

    3. Even that land is going to have hills, valleys, mountians, and all kinds of stuff. The best energy is going to be at the equator or near it–there is less equator square footage than there is surface area of just the USA alone. So, you aren’t going to get optimal transmission of the energy.

    So unless you can get me some numbers (solar panel square meter, wattage, cost, some way to distribute it world wide, how to collect it from the oceans) then I cannot help you further as your argument makes no sense.

    And please take this info with the knowledge that I WANT SOLAR ENERGY. I just realize that it’s just not going to happen.

  9. Bud Stone Says:

    Solar is a good technology. The math does not work yet… If it is $6000/ Kilowatt for panels, this does not include mounting, wiring, batteries, inverter/charge controller. This absolutely makes no sense. It is expensive cost per KW. I can buy electric for 14cents/ kw peak and 4.5cents off peak. If this unit with a tracker can produce 10 KW total (in my solar dreams) for the day, then it can recover 45cents per day per KW. It will only take 11,000 days, it will only take 30 years to recover my cost. Inflation vs finance or cost of investment is a wash. In 35 years, electricity has gone from 9.5cents/ KW to 12cents per KW. It is cheaper now than it used to be. It would make better sense to use a battery bank and charge during off peak.

    Solar per KW produced runs, on a 15 year amortization (being generous):
    6kw system- panels, mounting, wiring, inverter/controller, batteries, maintenance and a battery set replacement (they have a poor life span). 6 KW PSW 120/240v, 100 60 watt Panels, 32 batteries Cost: $55,000
    One set of battery replacement: $5,000
    Plus finance cost at 7%: pmt $516/ month
    KW produced 6kw x 10hr (in AZ and no discount for efficiency)x 30 days. 1800 kw>> 29cent / kw.
    vs. off peak 4.5cent /kw.

    In time, an efficient, cheaper panel will be developed. Now is not the time. To go solar now and look to recover over next 20 years… it is premature. I have watched my local power plant retool their token 2 acre solar program several times over the past 25 years. Each time spending millions. They do it because the govt requires them to. It is not viable right now.

    There are those that argue, govt subsidies… that is a simple short sighted plan. So the govt subsiizes 1 trillion dollars to solar; takes it from me in taxes. Or take it from the oil Companies. So if they tack on $1 in taxes per gallon, now I pay $1 more per gallon. It does costs the community when govt pays.

    Solar is viable for remote locations. I use a small 5 watt panel on every piece of equipment I have. It protects the battery and prolongs its life AMAZINGLY! I had a tractor that had an accessory left on. Battery was dead. Planned to come back and put a charger on it. When I went to charge it after 1.5 days; it started the tractor– Atta boy! I was surprised the little 5 watt could do it. $39 at harbor freight. I even put it on my 10 ton dump trailer for the battery hydraulic.

    I will use solar on my remote farm, the grid is $25,000 dollars away. I will use a generator when heavier power needs are present.

    Thanks, Bud

  10. Bud Stone Says:

    I did the math for solar well pump. My existing well has a 250hp Nat gas motor.
    I will only look to run it during the day, battery is not reasonable to consider. This is still a problem, because in the summer, the pump runs 24 hrs / day for 2 months. This barely keeps up. I start heavier irrigation a month earlier to bank water in the soil.

    Generous 11 hour day of light:
    250 hp = 190 kw Ayyyeeii!!
    Straight panel cost is $950,000
    Electrician 50,000
    Attorney to fend off environmentalist 10,000
    (their argument against, it interferes with the red and black beatle mating path)
    total cost $1,020,000
    Finance 4% mo pmt $7400
    –Solar cost per hour $22.4/hour to run pump
    Run pump at night from grid; off peak times.
    190kw x 13 hours at 4.5cents/ kw $3350
    –Electric from grid, cost per hour $8.60 to run pump

    I was running Natural Gas. But the increase of fuel made it worth spending $50,000 to change over to electric.

    I would like to go nuclear… an aircraft carrier goes 20 years between refueling. They have a huge electric power plant. When they refuel, they change out the whole reactor. Maybe I will look for a used aircraft carrier…mmm.


  11. otc eczema treatment Says:

    I wonder what the gain/loss of tracking with a system like this is vs. have multiple panels angled in multiple directions. Very interesting.

  12. Self Powered Solar Tracking System - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] the creator can share a bit more about the inner workings. It is probably similar to other solar tracking systems that we have featured here before […]

  13. SolarMan Says:

    Bud Stone,
    If you buy the individual solar cells from the internet mainily ebay it would only cost about $21,000. Then you would have to construct panels with multiple solar cells, then connect the panels in an array. With some research on your part, and money, you can put together enough solar panels to power your pump for under $50,000. Then you can apply for fedral and state tax rebates for reducing your power. You wouldn’t need batteries if you just ran it during the day. But the pump needs to run at night, so finding a way to store of produce power at night would be your next problem. I myself am working on some way to store energy I produce with my solar panels for use at night. Maybe making my own batteries, or use some other way to store the energy. I can happen, you could star out small and add panels every year till you get enough, you can always use the energy that solar panels produce during the day with out batteries, its called a day system. Just something to think about.

  14. ahmed iyanda Says:

    i am designing a solar tracking system for my school project. the major challenge i have is the controller. i need a microprocessor that will switch on the stepper motor for 2sec after every one hour of delay using unit impulse and for a period of 12hour.
    kindly advise,

  15. Diy Solar Tracker using spare parts - Hacked Gadgets - DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] as the main frame of the solar panels. I was expecting to see several light sensors and some circuitry to see where the sun was and constantly follow it like we have seen before. But fanman1981 actually uses a remote control that can have time programmed events to send signals […]

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