Thisproject focuses on the tracking of maximum sun for extracting andpumping water from the ground and other sources. The design isfocused on a system which can track the maximum amount of sun powerat any time of the day for the same purpose. The design is such thatthe solar system is placed at about 24 inches from the ground.Because of the rotating nature of the earth, the sun’s positionkeeps on changing and for the system to gain maximum power, arotation system should be put in place that earnest of power may beachieved. The whole project has different challenges which can beimproved with time. The design reduces the possible limitations andimproves the desires of the design. The calculation of the altitudeand the azimuth angles improves the functionality of the wholesystem. The sun’s energy can be analyzed if the two angles are wellcalculated and this gives the exact position of the sun at any singleday. The maximum functionality is achieved when the angles are gottenright. The project is designed to achieve maximum power and this canbe sufficient to provide an alternative cheaper means of operation.
Formany years, there has been a costly means of pumping and supply ofwater both underground and on the surface. This problem has cost thegovernment and other private organizations a lot of resources toachieve. Today, the need for water has been on the rise with thecurrent increasing population. In other fields, power is required fortheir processes and as a result, there is little power left for thepurpose of most essential part of this life. For this reason, thereis a need for an alternative power production that would be cheaperand easily embraced. The requirements of energy production are lowerand with the rising demand, large scale power production would benecessary. The solar tracking system provides an alternative sourceof energy which is cheaper and always available. Our design focuseson the solution to the challenge of accessing water from theunderground using a power grid system.
Proposeddesign and assembly
Theproject will consist of electrical components, plastics, bandingmaterials, hardware and wooden components. Electrical componentsinclude the motor, power supply and the electrical wires to be usedin the circuits. Rubber bands will be used in controlling the turningof the wooden board as it is connected by cable ties on the top andbottom part of the structure. The rubber band will stretch when theboard is pulled on the opposite side and contract when the fishingrod unwinds pulling the board to its direction. This rubber preventsthe boars from overturning as the motor moves the board forth. Thetop board and the base consist of plywood sheets.
Theplywood sheet and the plywood base are connected using a black ABSpipe. The top plywood sheet is supported by a white PVC pipe. Thehardware, that is, the Nuts and bolts are used to join the two piecesof each arm and acts as joints in the folding and unfolding woodenarms made from wooden dowels. Each arm will consist of two partsconnected at their centers with bolts. The hinges are fixed at thetop plywood sheets and make the turning possible in oppositedirections. The fishing line is fixed at the rotated part (pulley) ofthe motor and to the wooden sheet.
Theobjective of the project is to tap the maximum solar power, this callfor a design which will ensure that there is the required angle forensuring maximum power at any point of the day. The project designconsists of:-
A wooden board to hold the solar panel
An ABS tube to hold the board from the base
A fishing line fixed in the wooden board and the rotating part of the motor(pulley) to turn the wooden board
Another fishing rod connected to the second motor pulley to rotate the base
A PVC tube to connect the wooden board and the ABS tube, and to provide horizontal motion for the solar.
Two different motors
Power supply (can be a DC power supply e.g. a Battery )
Theproject will consist of two motors one of which will turn the woodenboard maintaining the angle at which the sun faces the solar and theother motor will rotate the wooden sheet and the ABS pipe maintainingthe position of the sun. The top wooden sheet will consist of arubber band which will act as a returning spring on one side and theopposite side connected to a rotating pulley by a fishing rod, thesetwo will aid in the turning of the top board. The top wooden sheetcarrying the solar panel also consists of two arms in opposite sides.These arms will facilitate support and the turning of the board inthe direction of the sun as it is turned by the winding and unwindingof the fishing rod fixed in a pulley rotated by one of the motor.
Themotor rotates the pulley where the fishing is fixed at a constantspeed maintaining the azimuth angle at every position of sun and theother end of the fishing rod is fixed to the wooden sheet. As thefishing rod winds in the rotating pulley it pulls the top woodensheet. The arm will aid in support and as one arm stretches the otherfolds, this is achieved by having a joint at the center of the eacharm, the joint will consist of a nut and a bolt and allowance made tofacilitate movement, lubrications can be used to minimize frictionand to avoid altering the settings on the motor. Since we are using amotor and a pulley system in the rotation we can change the directionof the turning once the sun sets and the motor returns the board toits position in the direction of sun rise and still maintaining theazimuth angle.
Thelocation of the motor and the pulley system should be such that itdoes not interfere with the project structure. The ABS tube is toconnect the top part to the base. The ABS tube is connected to arotating base. This is achieved by having another servo motor, twopulleys (one connected to the motor and the other connected to thebase) and a belt. The ABS tube is fixed to a pulley which is alsoconnected to a pulley rotated directly by the motor using a smallbelt. The motor at the base is also set to rotate at a certainconstant speed maintaining the altitude angle with respect to the sunposition. The delta connection of the support where the upper supportis connected to the lower one in a triangular manner is to providefor maximum support where there could be limited disturbance. Thetriangular connection provides a base for the ABS pipe which has tosupport the whole system. Since the weight of the solar is on the ABSpipe, its proper maintenance will ensure that the whole system isstable. Since the solar is about 24’ above the ground, its supportshould be strong to maintain this weight.
Thetwo motors will reverse the motion when the sun sets and return at aconstant speed to their initial positions at sun rise and startanother cycle again during the day. The solar panel will move withrespect to sun position once the sun rises tapping the maximum powerfrom the sun at all times of the day. The project must be located inan open area and in arid areas where the sun is available throughoutthe day. The operation of the motors will be both horizontal andvertical. The ABS pipe is connected from the wood holding the solarto the base of the system. To rotate this ABS pipe wouldautomatically rotate the solar panels to the direction of the sun. Ata considerable distance from the top, the ABS pipe must bepermanently connected to a pulley system which the motor rotates. Asthey pulley rotates horizontally, the ABS pipe is rotated and thewhole system rotates towards the direction of the sun. The secondmotor on the other hand provides a way of rotation to the board thatholds the solar panels. The connection is made from the motor toanother independent pulley system which is held on the base. Thepulley is fixed. A cord is used to connect the pulley to the boardand for easier movement. As the motor rotates the pulley, it createsa motion on the board towards the direction of the sun. For the boardnot to overturn the solar, a cord is used on a rubber at the back ofthe system to keep the motion in check.
Thealtitude angle mechanism works on the principle that the spool isdirectly connected to the motor. The string used in the pulley systemis pre wounded on the spool that the motor rotates. The diameter ofthe spool and the motor is equal. The rubber bands are used incontrolling the movement to prevent overturning. The string isreleased to 68 degrees then reversed. The motion can occur inconstant speed.
Theazimuth mechanism works on the principle that the string wired to thedisc is connected to panel configuration. Spool with different radiuswhich is larger at the middle at noon and smaller at the two sidesduring dawn or evening is used. The speed of the motion is variable.
Positiveand negative aspects
Forthe positive aspects, the azimuth angle can be easily controlled whenthe speed varies. Secondly, the altitude angle can be easily adjustedfor different days. The third advantage is that the whole systemexperiences a very low friction.
Onthe negative effects, there is poor gear reduction. The altitudespeed can only be interpolated linearly and the whole system can beeasily affected by external forces.
Theproject is expected to tap maximum power from the sun at all time ofthe day. This is achieved only if the azimuth and the altitude anglesare maintained. The angles are to be maintained by the two rotatingmotors. The project performance will greatly depend on the accuracyof the settings on the motors, the pulleys, the fishing lines and thebelt used. A constant power supply should be available. We tend touse a battery to run the motor and since maximum power is tapped wecan use the solar panel to charge the batteries. Having the motorsand the pulley systems working properly with correct settings on themotors then azimuth and altitude angles will be maintained, hencemaximum tapping of the solar power. With the maximum power from thesolar, the pump that is to draw water from the ground will be runeasily and this reduces the additional energy that is to be used inrunning the pump. Since the movement can be controlled, ensuring thatthe power produced in the solar is maximum could be necessary inimproving the efficiency.
Thewhole project has a deficiency of friction, the ability to reset thesystem and the quality. The movement of the solar is faster than thespeed at which the sun moves. This may not achieve the maximum powerat any point of the day. To correct this, instead of applying themotors, a servo mechanism can be applicable instead. This mechanismuses a principle which is similar to that of the motor but the speedat which it rotates can be adjusted to that of the sun so that at anypoint of the day, maximum power can be received from the sun(Rizzolatti 901). The solar system can equally be made such that allthe power from the solar can be used both to run the motors as thesame time to provide energy for the pumps. During the rotation, therecould be too much friction between the spool and the string andtherefore reducing the speed of operation. The ability to reset thesystem is a little lower. The efficiency must be improved for betterperformance. From the current system, the power from the solar canonly be to a maximum of 1.75 liters and this volume can be improvedwith some corrections made. The system should be able to absorbmaximum energy from the sun and the calculation for the angles canachieve the speed of the sun and the speed at which the system mustmove to get maximum power.
Rizzolatti,G., Luppino. The Cortical Motor System. Neuron 31: 889-915 (2011)