Research Papers

Design and Implementation of Hybrid Automatic Solar-Tracking System

[+] Author and Article Information
Nur Mohammad

e-mail: nureee_ruet@yahoo.com

Tarequl Karim

e-mail: tkarim.ctg@gmail.com
Department of Electrical &
Electronic Engineering,
Chittagong University of
Engineering & Technology,
Chittagong, 4349, Bangladesh

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received April 21, 2012; final manuscript received June 19, 2012; published online August 31, 2012. Assoc. Editor: Santiago Silvestre.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(1), 011013 (Aug 31, 2012) (6 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1105; doi: 10.1115/1.4007295 History: Received April 21, 2012; Revised June 19, 2012

A solar tracker is a system for orienting solar photovoltaic modules and solar thermal collectors toward the sun. This paper presents a microcontroller based energy efficient hybrid automatic solar-tracking system with a view to assess the improvement in solar conversion efficiency. The two-axis solar-tracking system is constructed with both hardware and software implementations. The proposed tracking system uses a new solar position sensor with adaptive features. A comparative analysis was performed using four systems, i.e., hybrid tracking, dual-axis, single-axis, and stationary module. The results showed that the use of the dual-axis tracking system produced 18% gain of power output, compared with a single-axis tracking system. The gain of output power with the hybrid tracking system was much higher (54%) when compared with a stationary system inclined at 23.5 deg to the horizontal. Considering the state of the art of the technology, successful strategy, robust control philosophy, and the potential added benefit of this research work can be employed on a large scale in sustainable manner.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Solar energy , Design
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Fig. 1

Angle of incidence to solar panel

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Fig. 2

Dual‐axis solar tracker combines two motions while tracking

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Fig. 3

PV module in the renewable energy lab of CUET

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Fig. 4

PV cell structure, module, and array

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Fig. 5

Simplified equivalent circuit of a solar cell

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Fig. 6

Flow diagram of implementation of the entire project

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Fig. 7

Full bridge driver circuit for stepper motor

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Fig. 8

Breadboard assembly of circuit components

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Fig. 10

Laboratory prototype of hybrid solar tracker

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Fig. 11

Hourly insolation variation per square meter

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Fig. 12

Performance assessment of hybrid, dual, single-axis, stationary solar tracker




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