Power generation, Solar Power Projects

Human Powered, Solar Panel Tracker Mount

25 Apr , 2013  

IMG_2257The short video below shows how I made an adjusted solar tracker from common materials. It can be manually “steered” to follow the 10am – 6pm sun. It can be adjusted vertically and follow the winter or summer place of the sun. This particular solar tracker has been set up for my place. I wish I could get the sun from the morning until night, but, my neighbors trees block most of the morning sun. It would be silly to cut all the trees down. We both like the privacy and shade they offer.

• The solar panels can be “steered” to follow the sun from 12:00 pm to 6:00pm sun. There is a string attached to each “leg” of the panel side. Like the reins on a horse, you just pull one side to steer the panel towards the sun. Once the desired angle is found, the reins are secured to the tree to keep it from turning in the wind.

The solar panel mount can be adjusted for the suns place in the sky. For example, in the winter, the solar panel should be more vertical, like a 60 – 80 degree angle. It will shed the snow more easily and will get a few rays bouncing off the snow. When the summer finally arrives, the panel angle should be adjusted to 45 degrees.(Also depends on your place)

Note: A good guide to go from is to find the latitude you are at and subtract 15 degrees in the winter and add 15 degrees in the summer. Your local library, smart phone or Google Maps should be able to tell you the latitude.

• The solar panel frame was made from left over Cedar deck boards, some angle ironIMG_2256 and door hinges

• Yes, it’s mounted to a tree. Not the best plan, but it died a few years ago from the mountain pine beetle infestation. It can be mounted to a post or the side of a house.

• Aside from one of the legs getting caught on piles of snow. No significant problems and it has been in use for almost two seasons.

• Ideal to hold 1 – 3 home-made 63 watt solar panels.


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