Student: Bryan Kennedy

Mentor: John Choi

Abstract

Renewable energies, and fuels that are not fossil fuel-based, are one of the prolific topics of debate in modern society. With climate change now becoming a primary focus for scientists and innovators of today, one of the areas for the largest amount of potential and growth is that of the capturing and utilization of Solar Energy. This method involves using a mechanical system to track the progression of the sun as it traverses the sky throughout the day. A dual-axis solar tracker such as the one designed and built for this project, can follow the sun both azimuthally and in elevation by use of a photoresistor sensor mounted on the top of the panel frame that senses when the sun has shifted position. If done in such a way that the system does not require large amounts of energy, it can increase solar energy production by an extra 20%. The key to this system working efficiently is in using as passive a system as possible so that it does not continually drain power from the panels as well. Testing will be done by comparing the amount of energy generated by the panel in its optimal fixed position to that of the energy generated while the panel is tracking the position of the sun. Three clear, sunny days of testing for each position were gathered and the results averaged before comparison.

Presentation

2 thoughts on “Dual-Axis Solar Tracker”

  1. Bryan,

    That power curve is impressive. The design looks very clean as well; glad you were able to fulfill the requirements of both the MET and EET programs.

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