Power generation, Solar Power Projects

Simple Solar Panel Sun Tracker from an Old Satellite TV Dish

10 Apr , 2015   Video

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This was an easy project and final outcome will be functional!

I have wanted to make this type of solar sun tracker for a while. The project took 2 days and there was many opportunities to get creative with some of the modifications.

Once to you can get a hold of an old satellite dish, most of the materials were scavenged. I had to purchase some of the mounting bolts ahead of time. Overall, the cost was around $12.00 for hardware.

The basic setup is an old Satellite TV dish mount, 2 IKEA cabinet metal rails, 8 nuts and bolts and some “Z” clamps. For the mast or tower, I found a piece of pipe slightly bigger and it slid over the satellite shaft. It acted as a collar. This piece then slid over a 10-foot section of long pipe from the top rail of a chain link fence. The satellite dish shaft was machine screwed to the collar. I added bearing grease to the chain link fence pipe and the entire mount could easily rotate.

The pole was then secured to a 4″ x 4″ pressure treated post and screwed to the side of the cabin. At a later date, the post will be lag bolted to the structures joist. The location of the post for the solar panel was chosen where it got the maximum amount of sunlight for the 11:00am – 3pm hours. But as a bonus, the panel on the tower can be rotated to catch some 9:00am sun and a bit in the late afternoon. In my mind, every little bit helps.

I wanted the solar panels close to the new location for the batteries. I make a serious effort to make wires short and not loose any power.

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