One Man's Adventures into Renewal Energy
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The Heavy Construction

11th May 2012 - Found a base for Solar Tracker

Solar Tracker
This is the projector base I found in a skip! Made of heavy steel, this should be very sturdy.

Solar Tracker
Close up of the base mountings

Solar Tracker
Close up of the pivot table - this is where I will mount the Solar Panels

Solar Tracker
This particular mount is telescopic. I won't be needing the telescopic feature.hover

I managed to salvage the above projector mount from a skip!
It's designed to be mounted to a ceiling, but turned upside down, I can't see why it couldn't be used as a base for a solar tracker.
It's constructed of steel, so should be fairly sturdy. Rust may be an issue, but I'm just gonna see how it goes on that front.
The mount has a rather convenient pivot for the table, allowing full 180º rotation. I'll most likely use a linear actuator to pivot this for one of the axis's.

I've order a couple of pillow blocks & aluminium tube - which is what I'll be using as the vertical shaft - Images to follow in due course.

24th May 2012 - Pillow Blocks Building

Solar Tracker Pillow Block
Aluminium Tube mounted in the two pillow blocks. This makes for a very strong mount. I doubt any amount of force would stress these blocks.

These are the parts used to create the x-axis.
2 x Pillow Blocks 40mm Inside Diameter - approx 20
1 x 1.5m Aluminium Tube - approx 10

Solar Tracker Pillow Block
A close up of the pillow blocks

25th May 2012 - Mounted Pillow Blocks to Base

Here is the vertical shaft mounted on the projector base.
I used some threaded rod to create a couple of U-Bolts to hold the pillow blocks to the base.
This has created a very solid base and should support a great deal of weight.

The overall height is approx 1.5m.

The next task is to think of how I am going to rotate the vertical shaft. You can see the motor unit in three of the pictures.
The trick is to allow some compensation in the motor shaft for being off centre.
I'm thinking a couple of universal joints will do this.
Or maybe a couple of flexible beam drive couplings.

Solar Tracker Pillow Block
Here you can see the pillows blocks mounted to the base. I've bent a couple of threaded rods to affix them. This is incredibly strong.
You can probably also see where I've sanded the aluminium tube. This is because the fit was way too snug and I was concerned I might never be able to get the tube out the pillow blocks.

Solar Tracker Pillow Block
Here you can see the motor unit (shiny steel box) positioned under the shaft. The issue here is getting the drive from the motor to be perfectly aligned with the centre of the shaft. More is discussed on this later.

Solar Tracker Pillow Block
Front view of whole unit - It's starting to look like a solar tracker!!

Solar Tracker Pillow Block
Side View.

Next - My findings on the Feed-In-Tariff


mike - 26/07/2016 08:48:56
can u sent me the Arduino code of the solartracker thanks

- 31/05/2013 16:25:42
Hi Alex - The mount was one that I found kicking around. It is just a basic Ceiling Projector Mount. A google search might reveal something similar.

Alex - 28/05/2013 23:08:53
Hey sorry im just wondering where you got the mounting base. Because I myself am trying to build a solar tracker but I can not, for the life of me, find a base where it can pivot in the way like your mount. Does that mount have a model number or anything because it seems like the perfect mount.

- 05/03/2013 08:46:30
I guess top priority is achieving high torque. It doesn't really matter if the motor only does .5 RPM, as speed isn't the thing you're looking for. I'd gear it as slow as you can.

murtaza - 05/03/2013 02:04:37
well I am making something similar in operation but cannot compute the required torque.

- 25/02/2013 09:21:17
TBH - I'm not sure on the specs of the motor. It's one I had lying around that is missing a label. If I could guess, I'd say it does about 4RPM with 12 Volts applied. High Torque because of the gearbox attached to it.

Murtaza - 22/02/2013 17:07:55
What are the specs for the motor being used?

rob(USA) - 25/05/2012 14:57:41
very trick!

Jack - 25/05/2012 14:49:41
I like the use of projector mount. Very innovative!

Gav - 25/05/2012 14:44:14
Wow - Awesome!


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