Microcontroller-based Dual Axis Tracker A Performance Analysis

INTERNATIONAL

PARTICIPANT

  1. Klifford B. Canoneo
  2. Mohammad Azzam Rakiin A. Macumbal
  3. John Robert M. Mamauag

The Philippines

DESCRIPTION

Many studies have indicated that solar energy experiences efficiency losses. A way to mitigate efficiency losses is through reducing light gathering losses. To diminish light gathering losses, a solar tracker can be used. This study compared different tracking setups – dual-axis, y-axis, x-axis, and fixed-axis – and made a performance analysis out of the results.

The equipment used was relatively small-scale: four 5 mm light-dependent resistors (LDRs), two 9g servo motors, a 0.75W solar panel and an Arduino Mega were all used as the central components of the project.

The device was tested in a residential area for four days: October 29. 2020, December 10, 2020, December 11, 2020, and December 20, 2020. Voltage readings were taken hourly on October 29 and December 10, and every 30 minutes for December 11 and December 20. For October 29, only the dual-axis and fixed-axis setups were compared, while for December 10, 11, & 20, single-axis (X and Y) readings were also taken.

A paired t-test (dependent samples) was used to analyze the results, with a confidence interval of 95%. The differences between the tracking setups and the fixed-axis setup were all statistically significant, except for the X-axis tracker. Additionally, while the dual-axis tracker was more power-efficient than the Y-axis tracker across all three days, the significance of these results can be questioned. Finally, the findings suggest that the tilt of a panel matters more than its X-position.

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