Improvement Of Dual Axis Tracker Using Arduino Uno Engineering Essay
Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Solar power generation had been used as a renewable energy since years ago.This type of energy is very clean, environmentally friendly and reliability as secondary choice for source energy.This paper present the design and improvement of dual axis tracker using Arduino Uno kit.Futhermore,the main objective is the dual axis tracker system which will actuate solar module will keep aligned with the sunlight in order to maximize in harvesting solar power.In this project,its divided by two categories;hardware and software.In hardware part,4 light dependent resistor(LDR) has been used to trace the coordinate of sunlight by detecting brightness level of sunlight.For rotation part, two standard servo motor has been selected.In software part,the code is constructed in C programming and inserted in Arduino Uno.This project is designed for low power and portable application.Therefore, its suitable for rural area usage.Moreover,the efficiency of output power which collected by sunlight are increased.
Keywords – Dual Axis,LDR,Servo Motor,Arduino
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural source such as sunlight, wind rain ,tides ,wave and etc. Renewable energy provide 19% of electricity generation worldwide.Malaysia,with population of about 28 million, is one of fastest-growing economies in Asia. During the last decade, Malaysia has seen almost 20% increase in energy generating capacity from 13,000MW in 2000 to 15,500MW in 2009.Under the 8th Malaysia plan (2001-2005),the government of Malaysia changed the Four Fuel Policy(based on oil, gas, coal and hydropower) to the Five-Fuel Policy with the addition of renewable energy as fifth source of fuel. Malaysia is well endowed with abundant non-renewable and renewable source of energy, especially biomass and solar.
In the last ten year,many residentals around the world used electric solar system as a sub power at their houses.this is because solar energy is an unlimited energy resource,set to become increasingly important in longer term, for providing electricity and heat energy to user.Solar energy is the energy derived from the sun through the form of solar radiation.The sun is most is most inexhaustible,renewable source energy known to man.The is no price and also no air pollution created by solar energy ,environmentally friendly and solar energy are interminable supplies.It is related with aspects as deforestation control,protection of ozone layer,reduction of CO2 emission and others.
The main objective of this paper is to develop solar tracker.The solar tracker can be used for several application such as solar cells,solar day-lighting system and solar thermal arrays.Nowadays,the highest efficiency of solar panel is 19%.So,the efficiency can be enhance by using solar tracker.Albeit,the price of various solar tracker are still expensive because solar tracker is still new and only a few countries use it as South Korean and USA.Futhermore,this project is designed for rural area which far from main supply and absolutely low cost.
Previous researchers , and  used LDR as sensor respectively.Other that, ,used dc motor and  used servo motor as the mover of their solar tracker.
II. DEVELOPMENT OF SOLAR TRACKER
Finding energy source to satisfy the world’s growing demand is one of society foremost challenges for next half century.The challenge in converting sunlight into electricity via photovoltaic solar cell is dramatically reducing $/Watt of delivered solar electricity.In this context the solar tracker are such devices for efficiency improvement.Solar tracker is the devices which designed automated for detect the sunlight movement from east to west.However,this automated system will stay its operational even if weather is cloudy and there is no sun visible totrack,thus spending stored energy without any gain.
Nowadays,many researcher from various education institution likely contribute in this topic. Based on experimental and actual result,the solar tracking can enhance by 30 to 60 percent compared to static solar array.Other that, power generated annually increase up to 40 percent.There are numbers types of solar tracker depends on cost,performance and technology.
This paper continues development on two axis tracking system consists Light Dependent Resistor(LDR),standard servo motor,solar module and Arduino programmer.
This project is divided into two parts,hardware development and programming development.Figure 1 show the block diagram of the project.
Figure 1:Block diagram of the project
2 Project Design
The main components of hardware used in this project are Arduino Board,Light Dependent Resistor,Servo Motor,Solar Panel and solar tracker stand,variable resistor.
2.1.1 Arduino Board
In this project,Arduino was used as main controller.Arduino is an open-source electronic prototyping platform based on flexible,easy to use software and hardware.Arduino can sense environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can effect it surrounding by controlling light,motor and other actuator.The microcontroller on the board is programmed using Arduino programming language and Arduino development environment.Arduino can be stand alone or they can communicate with software running on a computer.
2.1.2 Light Dependent Resistor
Light Dependent Resistor is semiconductor which sensitive with light.The main purpose is to change the brightness of light in different weather condition.Becauce of these reason,this paper choosed LDR which suitable to track the sunlight.
2.1.3 Servo Motor
Servo motor is one type of various motor in electronic application.This type motor required supply 4.8V or 6V.This motor consists three wire namely signal,positive and ground wire.The motor consists several part,the motor and gearbox,a position sensor,an error amplifier and motor driver and circuit to decode the requested position.Servo motor only rotate in 180 degree.
Figure 2:Servo Motor
2.1.4 Solar Panel
Solar panel is a device to receive sunlight and convert it into electricity.Nowadays,many type solar panel in the market but the efficiency still low.Other that,the price still expensive.That reason makes this type renewable energy still second choice energy generation after fuel generation.This paper used monocrystalline solar panel for solar tracker and static mode.
Figure 3: 2W Solar Panel
2.1.5 Solar Tracker Stand
This project designed the cheap and innovative stand.This stand also stable because the big base area makes the servo motor and solar operate as usual at the top.
C:UsersCipOx StarzDesktopsolar tracker(FYP 2)181120121127.jpg
Figure 4: Prototype of Solar Stand
PVC Reducing Socket
1 ½ to ¾ inch
Table 1:Prototype Material
2.1.6 Variable Resistor
A variable resistor is a potentiometer with only two wires instead of three.The pots allows to control yhe potential across through the circuit.The long handle on the potentiometer/variable resistor can be turned clockwise or anti-clockwise,altering the value of resistance.The range of resistance varies,for example 0 to 1000 ohms.This paper used variable resistor for speed and tolerance for each motor;vertical and horixontal axis.
C:UsersCipOx StarzDesktopdownload.jpgC:UsersCipOx StarzDesktopdownload (1).jpg
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Figure 5: Several of Variable Resistors
This paper using the C programming as programming language.The simple code constructed and inserted into Arduino Board.The Figure 6 show the flowchart of the software procedure.
Figure 6: Flowchart of software procedure.
IV. RESULT AND DICUSSION
From the result,the author selected the suitable location for solar panel placement.The best location where is not shade from building or trees shadow.The sun moves from east to west.Therefore,the author choosed for placing the solar tracker toward south east.So,the solar panel will get more sunlight in order to harvest output power.The best reading time is between 10am till 12.00pm.
The data collected from 9am till 5.00pm for 5day.The highest ouput voltage for solar tracker is 3.7V and for the static is 3.4V.The data shown the reading are upward from 9.00am till 12.00pm and start downward from 1.00pm till 5.00pm.According from data,the author choosed two condition of solar panel:
Static Solar Panel which face north east in 45 degree tilt.
Solar Tracker which face east.
From the data from figure 9,the largest output power is 587.6mW at 12.00pm for the tracker mode and the the lowest is 4.1mW.
Figure 7:Output Voltage Versus Output Current
Figure 8:Output Voltage Versus Time
Figure 7:Ouput Power Versus Time
The sunlight irradiation depends on many factor.The weather in Malaysia is hot and humid throught the year.This factor makes Malaysia receive the rain most the year.Therefore,Malaysia’s atmosphere covered by variety of cloud. The author research how effect the variety of cloud to solar panel reading.The data from figure 10 shown the highest ouput power harvested when no cloud in the atmosphere.Other that,the lowest reading is when the sky covered by cumulonimbus cloud.This type of cloud are bulky and associated with thunderstorm.Therefore,the sunlight irradiation not fully emitted to the solar panel.
Figure 8:Output Power Versus Day
In conclusion,the objective of solar tracker has been archieved.Based on all result,the output voltage and output power are increased compared to the the static solar panel.The solar tracker is able to track the sun movement from west to east.The cost and reability of this tracker makes it suitable for the rural usage. This paper also conclude that the clouds also the main factor for harversting more power.The purpose on renewable energy from this paper gave new and innovative idea to continue the bright future in this field .
For further research on this field,the data collection can be improved by long distance monitoring especially when user far from the site or when the rain.The high quality camera can be installed for capturing the type of cloud for futher research.Other that,this paper recommend that this innovative prototype can be enhance by increased it is scale.The solar panel can be replaced by larger scale in order to capturing more solar irradiation.Other that,the selection of solar panel should be also considered.Solar panel should high in efficiency for produce more output power which can used more low power appliances.
For the location of solar tracker,the best location is the higher place where is in the top building.Other that,the further user should considered the clouds.Before the installation,the user should research and identify the most area which not covered by cloud.Lastly,the user should be managed to restore the ouput power as secondary supply in an effort to preserve the invironment and ozone.Save our earth.
The author would like to acknowledge University Technology Mara (UiTM) for providing the component for this project.The author also tribute to Mdm. Aida Sulinda Kusim,all the lecturer,the staff and students of UiTM who have been involved in this project for the tremendous support and enormous guide.
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