Tracker for under $125

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by bluejay, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. bluejay

    bluejay WindyNation Engineer

    Heres the 24 volt version chip..cost 47 ish shipped... 24' Actuator on the way $46 shipped..
    I will make a housing for the chip out of dark plexi with holes drilled for the sensors to stick thru and silicon weather proof.. :lol: :cool:

  2. bluejay

    bluejay WindyNation Engineer

    Should of stated this is a single axis only..
  3. dlmcbm

    dlmcbm WindyNation Engineer

    Nice thing is buy 2 of them and you have dual axis. I have been looking at these for a while but need to get the solar panels built first.
  4. bluejay

    bluejay WindyNation Engineer

    Wrote the guy because I seen he had a auction for a 36v model that looked the same and asked if These could run the same voltage..He told me they were and 40v is there top... Really cool to know... I will keep the second axis in mind.

    Heres a front look...there are 2 TINY screws that are suppose to be for trimming it in for sensitivity I believe..

  5. mark99

    mark99 WindyNation Engineer

    Morning Bluejay,
    I bought the same tracker only for a12 volt system.I have not forgottten you I just like to have everything work well before I put it out there.It would be a good idea to make sure you acuator has its own built in limit switchs, it saves a lot of extra wiring. I did put mind together and it tracked very well with a light.Keep in mind that you can use lower voltage to you DC motor if you want to slow the tracker down.I inclosed mine in an out door light fixture,that way I can unscrew the glass dome to make any ajustments.I also am using a manual screw ajustment for my north- south angle,4 ajustments a year a is not asking too much. I tried to send a photo of the unit in the glass inclosure but it would not take it. The board attachment quota has been reached, what ever that means! Take care Mark
  6. bluejay

    bluejay WindyNation Engineer

    ok the movement wont be good enough to track even the single axis/...

    Am thinking of a car cvc ball joint that will swivel any angle mounted on the top of a 44 treated post and fasten two actutors and two sensors.The whole system could be built for under $300...
  7. mark99

    mark99 WindyNation Engineer

    Hi Bluejay,
    What problem are you having with the movment not working right? I got some time to work on my tracker today but still have a way to go.I am useing a 2inch pipe over a 1and 1/2 inch pipe.I still have weeks to go before the ground will be soft enough to dig anyway.I will try to send photos you asked for, take care Mark[attachment=5:jmt4656c]solar tracker.jpg[/attachment:jmt4656c][attachment=4:jmt4656c]tracker1.jpg[/attachment:jmt4656c][attachment=3:jmt4656c]tracker2.jpg[/attachment:jmt4656c]

    Attached Files:

  8. Hey guys I have the same controllers on a tracker but it sames to hunt all day long even in clear skys. I have tried all the tricks but it seems to still hunt, at a dead end here.
    Thanks Billy "Gulf coast of Texas"
  9. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    Billy, our new tracker electronics will be ready in about 8-12 weeks. It is really solid. No aimless hunting and it stays locked on to the sun. Even in cloudy conditions the hunting is minimal. Below is a picture of the waterproof electronic box for the tracker (The N/S/E/W labels are push buttons so that the tracker can be manually moved). The photosensor (not shown) is attached to the electronic box via a 10 foot cable. The photosensor is housed in a waterproof dome (The kind that outdoor security cameras are housed in). tracker box.jpg
    The unit is plug and play. Just hook DC+ and DC- up to the power supply and it is tracking the sun.
  10. Minnesota

    Minnesota WindyNation Engineer

    You guys are doing some very nice work. Good luck!
  11. Nice! What is the price ?
  12. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    Thanks Tom.

    Billy, I do not have an exact price yet. We just sent out the design package to assembly houses for quoting. For only the electronics (no tracker frame and no motors for moving the tracker), I am going to give you a ball park figure of $160. This final price could wind up being +/- 20% of this.

    Of course it will cost more than buying just a tracker circuit board but there are lot of benefits. It is plug and play (no wiring, no testing, no headaches!), internally fused, reverse polarity protection, works on 12/24V power supplies, completely waterproof and UV resistant with NEMA rated outdoor enclosures and conformal coatings on all circuit boards, comes with a 2 year warranty, etc.
  13. That sounds like a great deal for the money. I'll be one of the first customers. I do like the DIY stuff but sometime it sucks. Thanks for the feed back and it sure is hot today in Texas 82 and climbing.
  14. rhino

    rhino WindyNation Engineer

    guru, do the manual controls have a lock setting so that you can adjust it for high winds? Does it have a park mode, power save mode? Does it have a east delay? Will you need limit switches?

    Looks good I like it so far.
  15. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    There is no lock setting for the manual controls. To do accomplish this, simply put a resettable circuit breaker or a on/off toggle switch in between the tracker electronics and the power supply. Move the tracker to the desired position and flip the switch off.

    There is no park but again a resettable circuit breaker or a on/off toggle switch can accomplish this task.

    There is a software coded for limited tracking in cloudy conditions if that is what you mean by a "power save mode".

    The tracker returns to the east after sunset to await the rising sun the following morning.

    You will need limit switches if you choose to attach your own motors. We are going to sell tracker kits that include linear actuators (e.g. geared motors) with pre-installed limit switches. I think this will be the best option for customers who wish to build their own tracker frame. If you purchase the electronics paired with the linear actuators then the electronics' side of the tracker is plug and play and the customer does not have to think about what motor/linear actuator will properly mate with the tracker electronics.
  16. rhino

    rhino WindyNation Engineer

    Wow I really like your unit. Been looking in to these for some time but they all seem so crude. This one looks great.

    What kind of load can the actuators take? I have six panels 3 x 5 so if I put them all together on one tracker it would be a 10 x 10. Kinda worried about such a big tracker in the wind. Each panel weighs 44 lbs. So all together thats 264 plus the frame. The other thought is build two but that doubles the cost. (I grid tie three panels to one inverter) What would the cost be for the acuator and controller system?
  17. leamywind1

    leamywind1 WindyNation Engineer

    Love it. I need a tracker sytem for my panel for my battery back up. Sign me up for one. Pottsgrove-20110313-00099.jpg
  18. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    We are going to release the tracker electronics in two phases. We will have for sale in about 12 weeks (assuming their are no surprises during the production run of the electronics) a tracker electronics kit that includes two 225 lbs push/pull strength actuators. Their holding/static load strength is about 625 lbs. It is too early for my to guess the price but a rough figure is $330? The next phase will be available about 6 weeks later. This will be a tracker electronics kit with two heavy duty linear actuators that will both have an approximate push/pull strength of 800-900 lbs and a static load capability of about 2500 lbs.

    So there will be two tracker electronic kits: one with 225 lbs actuators and the other with ~850 lbs actuators.

    And of course there will be 100% complete solar trackers which we really hope to roll out this summer. These will be the best value for your money if you can wait.
  19. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    I'll put you on the list Larry :) Pretty soon you will be running your own little power plant.
  20. leamywind1

    leamywind1 WindyNation Engineer

    That's the goal. LOL

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