Solar Tracking - construction notes.
(Page 2 of 'Solar Tracking' - construction notes)
Parts from eBay or Local..
$20 12V Motor, 1 watt 10 rpm (worm-drive) Eg. JGY370 (eBay)
$25 2x 12V 5W Solar Panels (eBay 'Hobby / Toys')
$6 2x Mercury Switches. eg SM1035 (Jaycar)
$9 Nylon Pinion gear set. eg. YG2632 (Jaycar)
Plus.. 7mm Marine Ply - 7mm Marine grade rope.
The Main Array must be well balanced.
The video below shows a 'Balanced Array'..
We have two prototypes.. A 'Chain Drive' and a 'Rope Drive'
The 'Rope Drive' system.
Note: After 3 months of use, no wear is obvious on the rope drive or nylon gears. But we suspect that 3 years might be a reasonable life? The 'Chain Drive' option is only $30 dearer and should last 15 years.
The video below shows the 'Rope Drive', Pulley & Motor box..
The Rope Drive system
The 11 oak fingers above are able to keep the 7mm rope on the edge of the 7mm marine ply disk.
We originally thought more 'fingers' would be needed.
The two guide pulleys shown here are from a $6, 40mm pulley set
(The center pin of this pulley set can easily be drilled and punched out.)
The Pulley shown below is performing well - but shows some 'wear' which indicates it will only last a year or two.. We are planing to upgrade to bicycle chain and metal gear.
The Motor box, Pinion & Pulley box are mounted as shown below..
The small 'Sun Seeking' array..
This array needs to be mounted far enough from the main array so that neither one can throw a shadow on the other..