Microcontroller Based Automatic Solar Tracking System with Mirror Booster



Protik Kumar Das1, Mir Ahasan Habib1, Mohammed Mynuddin2

Abstract: This paper is designed solar tracking system with mirror booster using microcontroller. Solar energy is rapidly becoming an alternative means of electrical source all over the world. To make effective use of solar energy, its efficiency must be maximized. A feasible approach to maximizing the power output of solar array is by sun tracking. This paper deals with the design and construction of solar tracking system by using a stepper motor, gear motor, photo diode. Mirror is used as booster to maximize the efficiency. The whole frame will travel circularly and the mirror will travel from south to north and vice-versa. The prototype is considered around a programmed microcontroller which controls the system by communicating with sensors and motor driver based on movement of the sun. The performance and characteristics of the solar tracker are experimentally analyzed.

Keywords: Types of Renewable Energy, Types of Tracking Mechanism, Gear Motor, Maximize the Panel Efficiency


Energy is a key to the advancement and prosperity of humans. With civilization development the energy consumption has increased steadily. To sustain the current human development more energy is required in near future. The primary solution is to burn more fossil fuels [1] .But burning more and more fossil fuels will cause environmental problems such as water pollution, Air pollution, soil contamination and most dangerously greenhouse gases. The increased use of fossil fuels has significantly increased greenhouse gas emission, particularly carbon dioxide, creating an enhanced greenhouse effect known as global warming. Fossil fuels required millions of year to generate and going to finish in very short time. However, the world supplies of fossil fuels which is our main source of electricity will start to run out from the years 2020 to 2060.The increasing demand for energy, the continuous reduction in existing sources of fossil fuels and the growing concern regarding environment pollution, have pushed mankind to explore new technologies for the production of electrical energy using clean, renewable sources, such as solar energy, wind energy, etc [2]. Renewable energy resources will be an increasingly important part of power generation in the new millennium. Besides assisting in the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases, they add the much- needed flexibility to the energy resource mix by decreasing the dependence on fossil fuels. Among the renewable energy resources, solar energy is the most essential and prerequisite resource of sustainable energy because of its ubiquity, abundance, and sustainability. Regardless of the intermittency of sunlight, solar energy is widely available and completely free of cost. Recently, photovoltaic (PV) [3]-[6] system is well recognized and widely utilized to convert the solar energy for electric power applications. Among the non-conventional, renewable energy sources, solar energy affords great potential for conversion into electric power, able to ensure an important part of the electrical energy needs of the planet.

The sun is the prime source of energy, directly or indirectly, which is also the fuel for most renewable systems. Among all renewable systems, photovoltaic system is the one which has a great chance to replace the conventional energy resources. Solar panel directly converts solar radiation into electrical energy. Solar panel is mainly made from semiconductor materials. Si used as the major component of solar panels, which is maximum 24.5% efficient. Unless high efficient solar panels are invented, the only way to enhance the performance of a solar panel is to increase the intensity of light falling on it. Solar trackers are the most appropriate and proven technology to increase the efficiency of solar panels through keeping the panels aligned with the sun’s position. Solar trackers get popularized around the world in recent days to harness solar energy in most efficient way. This is far more cost effective solution than purchasing additional solar panels [7]-[8]. In this paper the design methodology of a microcontroller based simple and easily programmed automatic solar tracker is presented. A prototype of automatic solar tracker ensures feasibility of this design methodology.

Solar tracking is necessary for most of the solar systems to collect maximum amount solar radiation. Concentrators require a high degree of accuracy to ensure that the reflected sunlight is directed to the absorber, which is at the focal point of the reflector. Sun Tracker can help increase overall efficiency of a solar installation by over 40%. The applications of solar tracking system are given below: i) Satellite dish ii) Concentrating collectors (cylindrical parabolic collector, parabolic dish collector, power tower concentrating collector etc.), iii) PV cell and iv) Flat plate collector etc.


Photo source:http://bit.ly/1TA2KwZ



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