Skip to comments.Following the track of the sun
Posted on 11/24/2017 7:56:45 PM PST by killermosquito
I have created a solar oven with an old satellite dish and about 250 small mirrors. My thermometer reached >600 degrees F in about one minute. I'm trying to think of a way for it to automatically track the path of the sun. Any suggestions?
I've wondered about a bag of sand win a leak that slowly empties into something that as it gets heavier with sand it moves the dish in a way that follows the sun.
Some sort of gyroscope should do the trick.
An oven that gets to 600 degrees in a minute? Exactly what are you planning on baking?
use a star tracker
Go to homepower.com
Take a look at the controllers for solar cell followers for some ideas
What about trying to rig an equatorial drive they use for telescopes? Could be expensive, though.
Side question: 250 mirrors sounds like a lot of work. Why didn’t you use a Fresnel lens from an old projection TV?
Look at an equatorial mount for telescopes or cameras. They are designed for tracking the zun and other celestial objects.
I bought the Ioptron Skytracker Pro and used it to photograph the eclipse.
A pizza in 5 minutes sounds good right now.
Oh wait, it’s 10 PM here...
lot of work but I saw an article on motherearth a while back for a passive solar tracker. Basically it was two pipes connected together with tubing or smaller pipe and filled with freon. Also connected is a dual acting a hydraulic cylinder. Freon reacts with pressure changes due to temperature changes in a big way. So when one pipe is getting more sun, the pressure goes up and moves the cylinder. Sun hits the other pipe and moves it the other way.
Hard to explain but you should be able to find it.
Sounds like a job for an Aduino and a few servos.
You need to make a mount with the pivot axis aligned with the Earth’s axis.
Either side of your solar collector place a sealed, black painted tube charged with Freon. Each of these is shaded by a piece of sheet metal or plastic running parallel to the Freon tube, vertical between the Freon tube and the Solar collector.
Paint the Freon tubes black and connect them to a double acting cylinder mounted so that it will tilt the Solar Collector from East to West about the axis.
When theSun comes up in the morning it warms the Eastern Freon cylinder, expanding the Freon and pressurizing the side of the double acting cylinder which will pivot the Solar Collector to the East. The West side Freon cylinder is in the shade of the sheet metal panel at this time.
Once the Sun rises enough for the light to strike the West side Freon cylinder, it, too, becomes pressurized and swings the Solar Collector to the the West until both freon cylinders are in full Sun, i.e., your Solar Collector is pointed straight at the Sun. It will continue to track the Sun to the West until sunset.
I’ll see if I can find a diagram and post the Link.
How big of a dish are we dealing with? What would easily and cheaply work for a 3’ DirecTV sized dish won’t work for an 8’ backyard C band dish.
Ba kyard dishes had a mount that would allow a single jackscrew to pan the dish along the Clarke belt. It had a one-time manual adjustment for elevation. Since the elevation of the sun changes every day, you would need a second jacks rew to adjust elevation.
Hire an unemployed illegal to move it by hand. /sarc
Try googling it!
You could melt (and cast) aluminum. :)
Bookmarked for later.
In the 80’s, Zomeworks had a passive solr tracker that used a couple of freon tubes where the sunlight would heat one, drive the freon to the other and the apparatus would move. I know this freon approach works. I have Zomeworks skylights that have opened and closed every day (except when it snows) for the last 35 years. Pure genius!
Why don’t you use the >600 output to power your water heater, saving some of what you’re paying for grid energy for it. And start buying components for doing the sun tracking, which once you achieve that will make it more efficient for more of the day.
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