One Man's Adventures into Renewal Energy

Solar Panel

Heavy Shading - 1.35 Watts

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Full - 13.46 Volts
Battery and Panel Stats Updated @ 04/06/2017 15:12
Please help me to continue hosting this website & associated costs by donating £2.
In return, I'll email you a ZIP file containing arduino code + all images from the website + some extra ones that aren't on the website...all in high res (370MB of pics!).

Solar Tracker Relay circuit using Arduino

6th September 2012

I've reached the point where I need to think how I'm going to control the motor & linear actuator for my solar tracker.
Things to consider -
Must be able to go forwards and backwards - so that makes 4 channels, 2 for each motor.
Must be able to provide enough power to drive the motors.

Originally I looked at an H-Bridge Circuit, and I did buy one, but I had lots of problems with getting it to reverse the motors, so I gave up.

I've now decided Relays are the way to go.

I bought this relay shield from Ebay for about £6.
It's 4 channels and is very well built.
Relays are easily driven from the 5volts off the Arduino.

Here is circuit diagram for the 4 Channel Relay module.
It's pretty easy to connect up.

The arduino supplies power to the relay switches, but not the motors.
You need to connect a power supply to the other side of the relays. I use a 12V DC power supply, but you could use whatever you like.
Tip! - You could alter the voltage of this power supply to speed up or slow down your motors.

Remember - If you want a bigger diagram, please fill out your email address on the left and I'll happily send you a larger version of this image plus loads of others.

Here you can see a picture of it all connected.
There is only one motor connected as I was testing at this stage.

You'll also notice I soldered the connections from the Arduino straight onto the relay module. I decided this would be the most reliable connection method. Just make sure you use some heat shrink.

How to wire up to an Arduino????

I thought I'd share a neat trick with you.

Connecting anything to the Arduino Female connectors is a bit of a pain.
I've tried inserting wires in. Using solid core wiring...all sorts.
But nothing gives a decent reliable connection.

The other day I discovered "Male Single Row Pin Header Strip PCB"

Here you can see I soldered some of this connector strip to some strip board, wired up whatever connections I need and then cable tied it to secure it all.
It makes for a very tough and reliable way to easily plug and unplug from Arduino board.

I'll be adding my limit switch circuit later please come back soon!

Next - The Sensor MkI


tiefun - 20/11/2017 09:57:38
hi. pls send me code

John O'Neill - 16/11/2017 16:17:34
Hi, Im trying to do the same thing as you with the 4 relay and actuators. Sadly for me I'm just a beginner. Id love if you could send me the code to run this and the diagram please. Thank you in advance!

Ironworker - 05/11/2017 04:25:22
helo admin, are you still out there? You have no posts in the last three years are you still sending out the code to those that donate?? I hope you are still alive

min - 02/11/2017 12:11:16
hi! I sent you a donation and I want to get a zip file containing the Arduino code + all images on website + some additional ones that aren't on the website...all in high resolution for solar tracker with respect Victor.

lakshmi - 13/05/2017 00:21:32
Nice one!!!! I need more explain about how relay is plays a role in solar trackers? ??

lakshmi - 13/05/2017 00:20:55
Nice one!!!! I need more explain about how relay is plays a role in solar trackers? ??

Victor - 06/05/2017 20:47:21
hi! I sent you a donation and I want to get a zip file containing the Arduino code + all images on website + some additional ones that aren't on the website...all in high resolution for solar tracker with respect Victor.

Bazza - 03/05/2017 20:02:10
like the look of this project, which I am going to try

William C Dixon - 22/04/2017 22:43:00
Be interresting to see your code

daniel - 14/02/2017 07:07:35
very nice project plase send me big plan end code thank you

josef - 08/02/2017 22:43:04
Hello . . Great projekt. Can you please so much send me the code. Please.

Boris - 04/02/2017 01:50:44
hi, can i get the circuit diagram larger image so that i can connect relay module with arduino. Also i am doing the same project using linear actuator for y axis and dc motor for x axis.Can you provide me the code for it. Thanks

francois - 22/01/2017 10:05:39
hello,from France very nice blog. Thank you for to partage. Please could you send me a bigger picture of connexion. I am a novice and if you can join the code or tell me where did you publish it ? Thanks you.

Gil - 20/01/2017 03:33:19
Hello. Please send me the bigger schematic/diagram for the circuit. Thanks

Iztok Šauperl - 15/01/2017 08:37:10
I have donated, pls send me code.

Antoine - 13/01/2017 19:14:28
Hello and happy new year! The last 4 months i am doing a small research, while trying to build a single axis solar tracker. During these 4 months it is the first time i see your website....and i am really thankful for that. You gave me some very good ideas..Could you please send me on email some more informations such as schematics, code, circuit, photos? When i will complete my project i will send you photos of the final "product"!

Ashwal - 29/11/2016 13:00:14
very good work. Please share me the codes. Thanks

Arfah Bahrom - 28/11/2016 16:34:29
I want a larger picture of the connection. I really need it. thank you. :P and if you don't mind, can you please share the coding too?

Elizandro - 06/10/2016 03:54:32
I'd like to have the code!I'm interested! plz!

Gil - 19/09/2016 21:44:18
Hi. Good work. I 'd like to have a bigger schematic please. Also the source code for the arduino? thanks! gil CA

Jay - 10/09/2016 20:08:08
Hi, just wondering if you could send me a copy of your code. I'm having a bit of trouble with a similar project. Great work with what you did!!!

mike immers - 02/08/2016 11:44:21
can u sent me te bigger pictures and the code for the audrino i am from holland so forgive me for the typos

Tuur - 01/08/2016 20:17:24
Hello; Can you send us the code for the arduino based tracker using dc motor??? It is a very good idee with these relays but how the motors stops , is it slowly when its arrived its endpoint ??? many thanks

Cybrocker - 01/07/2016 13:42:01
Please email me all your enlarged documents. Thanks in advance, cy...

Ed - 21/06/2016 05:17:45
This is very helpful. Can you please send me the diagrams and the arduino code? Thanks!

mostafa - 09/06/2016 14:21:14
i need to know the full diagram for the circuit

S Laidlow - 23/05/2016 10:23:31
Hi Could you send me more details of your solar tracker relay circuit please it's almost the same as mine but I have teething problems Cheers Steve

Henk - 19/05/2016 12:13:20
Hi, Nice project!! Could you please send me the code :) Thanks

shukri - 12/05/2016 14:04:15
hye, i would like to have your circuit project and arduino coding. tq in advance :)

Mert - 06/05/2016 10:48:04
Hi can u give your project arduino code please

hihi - 03/05/2016 10:45:15
Hi! It's really useful. However i cant get a hang on the codes. Please send the code to thanks

Amirul - 05/04/2016 20:41:35
hi there nice project. i'm currently having problem for the coding using dual channel motor driver. not the circuit but the code . could you please help me with the coding for arduino uno ? email me at . this project is for my final project at my faculty. i'm gonna make you as the reference in my report . Thank you

Vaibhav bisen - 29/11/2015 21:46:52
Hi! Can I have the pics and sketch. Please Thanks

Loic - 10/11/2015 11:56:14
Hello; Can you send us the code for the arduino based tracker using dc motor??? Thanks Sinceres Salutations

justin - 05/09/2015 14:43:20
please could you send me the code for arduino just to control motors regards justin

Mark Cross - 25/08/2015 05:21:01
Hello Admin, OMG!, I wish I found this post earlier, would have made more since to me as I am a total newbie to the ardunio. I have everything done as far as the hardware, except for the code, Would you mind if I asked you for the code you are using? I am just not getting this coding thing yet.

janani - 16/08/2015 18:32:33
i want image size to be bigger

bernie leblanc - 16/06/2015 02:31:00
I have those cheap solar trackers but can't take the amperage I'm very interested in the relay module please I think it's the way to go

Mino - 07/05/2015 03:01:20
Hi, can you send me one copy of your work? I'd be very grateful! Thanks.

nakarin - 04/05/2015 16:00:12
can you send me a bigger size of pic and code plz!!!!

MIHEER MANIAR - 15/04/2015 15:18:08
Can you send us the code for the arduino based tracker using dc motor???

Maks - 17/03/2015 19:26:57
Well done!!! Can I ask you kindly to send me a circuit diagram for the 4 Channel Relay module bigger size. I'll be more than thankful.

bhushan - 15/03/2015 17:08:38
Hey brother, can i use a 15kg torque geared box motor (12v) ? i an making a lift mechanism to lift 5 kg of stuff controlled by arduino and visual basic program. i guess such high load motor will burn all relays. Please help me out.

Sohel Fitter - 21/02/2015 03:34:43
I want all circuit diagram and the arduino and 4 channel relay driving module detail diagram plz

Simon - 02/02/2015 14:43:19
Hello, Great job, it's a very awesome project. I am very interested in your project. Could you please give me more specific diagrams showing various connections mounting ? Thank you

Heaman - 14/01/2015 15:26:29
good work,

Ahsan - 05/11/2014 07:19:34
Hi, thanks for uploading this project. I am making a Solar tracker for a car. I need some help and would be grateful if you could help me out. can you please send me the bigger size diagrams.. Also is there any way to contact you through email or on call. I am based in Canada. Thanks

Mike Wright - 26/10/2014 22:50:14
I'm very interested in your relay circuit for the solar tracker..I want to be able to use it to control motors for an RC tank or car for my students..can you send me large pics and whatever else you have? I'm a novice at this, but want to get the kids into robotics. Thanks!!!

Mario - 24/10/2014 21:55:52
HI,your circuit is just what I'm cercando.Voglio know if you can send me the pictures enlarged, and the listing? Thank you so much if you want me to help. Mario Pedrini

Hammad Tanveer - 15/10/2014 08:04:43
Hi, I am truly inspired by your work and hope to build my own dual exes solar tracker with your help. Can you kindly send me the pictures and the circuit diagrams when you get a chance? Regards, Hammad

Mohsin Aslam - 13/10/2014 20:43:45
Hi any one has the arduino code and larger schmeatic of the above project please help me my email id is . i will be very thankful to all.

Mohsin Aslam - 13/10/2014 20:37:42
Hi can u please provide me the arduino code and larger schematic of linear actuator and motor connected to relay shield using arduino please.

Jimmy - 13/10/2014 18:40:23
Can you please provide the Arduino code for me?

Mohsin Aslam - 01/10/2014 19:50:07
hi, can i get the circuit diagram larger image so that i can connect relay module with arduino. Also i am doing the same project using linear actuator for y axis and dc motor for x axis.Can you provide me the code for it. Thanks

luis - 21/09/2014 20:02:41
Hi, this solar track is very interesting, Can you provide me the arduino code for what you did?, Thank you, Luis

Sravani - 12/08/2014 06:43:32
Can we use transistor instead of relay for controlling dc motor ?

Sravani - 12/08/2014 06:33:48
Thanks for the previous reply. Can we use dc motors in both cases, for horizontal and vertical tracking ? Is there any special reason to use linear actuator ? Can you please send the whole procedure of connecting dc motors using relays ? What is the limiting switch for ? Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

- 28/07/2014 08:25:44
Hi Sravani. The servo motors were purely for testing. Even though I'm sure some heavy grade servo motors could be purchased and used, I figured using a standard DC motor would be easier and more powerul. As for the linear actuator - Yes, you would have to use a relay, because the Arduino hasn't got enough power to drive the actuator on its own.

Sravani - 27/07/2014 14:49:19
In the beginning, in "Making a prototype" section, you told that you are using 2 servo motors. Why did you use dc motor for altitude tracking ? Is it necessary to use relay module for a linear actuator ?

Jeroen - 07/07/2014 09:13:56
Hello,Very help full site - something i'd be interested in the schematics off the relais. And is it possible to puplish the code? Thanks in advance.

Henrik.Å. Sweden. - 11/06/2014 23:01:35
Hello. I have written to you before but have not received responses. I wonder if it is possible to get or to buy a copy of your 'complete' Arduino sketch (solar tracker) for control of the four motors via four channel relay module.

karl - 13/04/2014 20:42:29
please send me a diagram for the 4 Channel Relay module and Arduino thanks larl

Mihai - 19/12/2013 16:10:37
Hi, Can you provide me the larger diagram for what you did ? Thank you, M

Stoyan - 12/11/2013 19:58:05
Hi nice project. Will you publish the code too pls?

Adil Daruwalla - 01/10/2013 02:17:50
Hi Very impressed i need complete details how to make the tracker please send me all the details

Zalando Gutschein - 05/08/2013 08:17:30
Great, thanks for sharing this post. Will read on...

wakeupnow - 04/08/2013 22:23:02
Thanks-a-mundo for the article.Really thank you! Keep writing.

effectively - 04/08/2013 16:00:11
Really informative article post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

bolsa de empleo - 04/08/2013 02:23:38
Hey, thanks for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

Mike Blake - 03/02/2013 00:57:12
I have a single axis unit up and running, it also controls the charge rate for the battery and has MPTP, low volt load shed and mains backup control. It is for my garden lighting. I'm using sliprings for the connections which simplifies things electric but adds to the mechanics of construction.

- 18/12/2012 14:38:36
Hi Ronnie, I plan on using a Grid-Tie inverter to convert to 240V AC, which will supplement my home electricity.

Ronnie - 18/12/2012 13:49:47
Very interesting site - something i'd be interested in trying when I see how you've got on. One question that puzzles me which I can't see you have considered yet. How will you connect the array to the mains circuit in your house so you can use the power?

- 11/12/2012 10:45:56
Digiwalker - Yes, I'll publish all the code. Things have gone quiet as the UK Winter has hit. Come Spring, I'll get some new info put on the site.

digiwalker - 08/12/2012 12:27:01
Hi nice project. Will you publish the code too pls? cu

- 18/09/2012 15:28:41
Jordan - thanks for the compliment!


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