SunTura HD kit Runnning In Ontario Canada

Discussion in 'Solar Products' started by Tuicemen, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Tuicemen

    Tuicemen Solar Guru

    Although this is a dual axis I currently only have the East/West actuator connected.
    This was connected to my own designed mount which I had setup to move manually years ago.
    This worked great except when I forgot to turn it ( happens more frequently as you age).
    I'm all for automation and this just made sense.
    The tracker has been in operation for about 2 months now and other then retightening a few bolts I haven't had to do any maintenance.
    The winter will be the real test on this, so far we've had some 52mph winds which this has stood up to just fine.
    We haven't had any real cold days yet those will come in January.:rolleyes:
    [​IMG]
    I repurposed an old dog house to hold a 12 volt truck battery and charge controller to handle powering the tracker. The battery is charged with a 120 watt solar panel(which looks like it is resting on the ground).
    Over kill with the 120 watt solar panel I know but it was a spare.
    Once I've totally converted to 24 volts I may replace it with a 75 watt Shell panel.
     
    larry george likes this.
  2. Tuicemen

    Tuicemen Solar Guru

    The other day I finally got around to adding the second actuator for N/S tilt.
    The E/W actuator performed well so far standing up to the Ontario Canadian winter.
    We get a fair bit of snow here so I suspect I'll need to disable the N/S actuator when I'm not here to clear the snow.
    Since the tracker mount was my own design adding the N/S tilt option was semi there but installing the actuator took a bit of time to work out spacing's.
    It also took a few manual testings to be sure the wires were long enough and not pinching ,or catching anything.
    I had to set the limit switch to limit the north tilt but feel with some adjustments to the actuator placement I can gain that extra tilt back if needed.
    Spinning the actuator so the motor is to the side instead of at the bottom will give extra clearance from the E/W actuator.[​IMG]
     
  3. Tuicemen

    Tuicemen Solar Guru

    With the warm weather coming to an end I figured I best get something rigged up to keep the N/S tilt in the position best suited for winter months when I'm not here.
    While playing with adding a RF remote to the SunTura I had also played with adding a Kill switch :
    http://forums.windynation.com/commu...ontrol-to-suntura-diy-project.3342/#post-9627.
    Instead of killing all power(red wire) I wired for the N/S tilt to be disabled (blue wire).
    This was a 5 min in field mod as I made up the short jumper wire prior;).
    Drilling the Hole in the case was the hardest part of the job but a battery drill made it easy.
    The switch required a small notch in the hole so the switch didn't spin.
    This was done with a utility knife.;)
    Here's a picture of the finished mod, I think it looks pretty professional!:rolleyes:
    The Cool thing with this type switch (3 position) I used here, I could also wire in a E/W kill though you couldn't kill both at the same time with this switch.:cool:
    MountedSwitch.png
     
  4. Tuicemen

    Tuicemen Solar Guru

    Well another winter over and the Sunturas are still performing.
    However since both are running off one 12 volt battery with one utilizing a 24 volt upconverter running 24/7 I had issues with keeping the battery charged enough to control both during the low solar production of the winter months. To prevent killing my suntra control battery I killed power to both.
    In the spring I power up both Sunturas . Since the charge controler for the battery used for the sunturas has a load conection with the option to limit the time power is past through I set this up to only allow 9 hours of power to go to the 24 volt converter.
     
    larry george likes this.
  5. Nice job . I have been thinking of adding north / south tracking to my homemade tracker also . it's been single tracking for about 6 years now .
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  6. Tuicemen

    Tuicemen Solar Guru

    I originaly didn't think a north south actuator would get used much. However it does move mornings and evenings giving a few more hours of direct sun each day.
     
    larry george likes this.
  7. Yes i have noticed that mornings and evenings the sun is farther to the north at my location . I do adjust the north / south angle 4 times a year but adding tracking for that should improve power production even moor . I thought I would wire it the same as my E/W tracker so I could still move it manually for cleaning and high wind .[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  8. I is turned off and chained down for high winds .[​IMG]
     
  9. Tuicemen

    Tuicemen Solar Guru

    The sunttura has the maual option for both though i rarely use them.
    With a north south tilt you shouldnt need to chain things down unless your in line of a tornato and I doubt a chain would help in that case.
    I added Alexa control (Wi-Fi) to my north south tilt so I can lock the panels facing straight up for high winds with a simple voice command.(A $10 mod) I can also unlock via voice though I've only had to use the lock feature once or twice.
    The kill switch I added to the sunturas I use more often, for regular maintenance.
     
    larry george likes this.
  10. I'm in north Texas . I get high winds with storms and straight line winds of 30 to 40 mph which my windmill loves but my tracker is of my own design and weights 400lb. on top of the pole made mostly from scrape I already had . I had to add counter weights to help it turn from the east because of a mechanical disadvantage. when the wind starts gusting over 25 I level it out and chain it down .
     
  11. Tuicemen

    Tuicemen Solar Guru

    My first tracker was also made mostly from scrap I already had as well.
    Originaly I made the mount so it was ajustable E/W & N/S by hand after several yeats of moving the panels several times a day I began looking at automating that task.
    My local solar supplier tried to convice me Trackers were not worth the money. Probably If one was to have it built and installed by someone else that might be true.
    I never had axcess to a welder for my first tracker so everything on it is bolted together.
    My unit is also heavy on the south (by original design) but fairly balanced east to west.
    Originaly I used a large bolt through the pole to lock the panels position as even a small gust would turn it. I still use that bolt during winter months as I was powering down the sunturas over winter and wanted extra protection.
     
  12. Yes mine is bolted together also . but now days I have 2 welders in a 30 x 40 shop with lots more metal fab tools . I even made my on press break that fits in my 20 ton HF press and a homemade forge .
     

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