Looking forward in 2015

New products are in the pipeline for this new year. We've got a dual-axis external sensor that should be ready to make it's debut by the beginning of March. We've come up with a vacuum formed dome design to create an ideal enclosure. The attached pictures show a prototype unit. One of the nice features is the built in light vane which should make for accurate solar aiming. Also shown is one of the rough domes fresh from the vacuum former before it's been cut from the sheet of PET plastic.

Compound Parabolic Trough Assembly Time Lapse Video

I managed to inadvertently move the camera when I started recording, but still ended up with a useful video that shows how our new compound parabolic ribs and heat fins go together to create a solar trough system for heating water.

Home CSP Components used:
- 5 compound parabolic ribs
- 2 dual channel heat fins

Dual Channel Heat Fin Project

One of the challenges I encountered while developing a parabolic trough design was finding a suitable heat fin for the focal plane. Existing ones on the market are all single channel designs. While these work fine for normal non-concentrating flat panel absorption designs, with the higher flux levels of a compound parabolic trough they leave something to be desired.

New Parabolic Trough Components

I am happy to announce we have a new line of parabolic trough components that are available in our store. For the traditionalists, we have a standard parabolic rib with a 37" aperture and 6" focal length designed for a 48" wide reflector. For you cutting-edge types, we have our own special compound parabolic ribs that are designed for twin 24" reflectors and have a 6" focal plane.

TinyTracker Installation Video

We've got a new video to share showing TinyTracker installation on our dual-axis Solibrium mount, which is a standard Altitude-Azimuth axis pole style mount. Installation is simple and both axis can easily be completed in a half an hour or less.

Track'n Park Controller with Programmable Park Position

Track'n Park with labeled features
Simple configuration diagram

Home CSP is happy to announce our newest and most advanced single-axis tracking controller board. The Track'n Park raises the bar for solar photo-tracking functionality, and is the only compact controller available with a programmable park position and remote park trigger capability. These features can help move PV arrays to a safe position to reduce risk of damage from high winds. The normal East-return position of a polar tracker presents a potentially large surface area to the wind. Positioning the array horizontally to the wind can protect the array.

Bike-frame Equatorial Tracking Mount

I created an Instructable posting on building a simple bike frame based equatorial style tracking mount. This is sort of a research/demo mount and uses the Home CSP Mega Tracker for digital control of each axis for optimum accuracy.

Click here to check it out: Bicycle-Frame-Polar-Tracker

Choosing the Right Actuator

There are many factors to consider when selecting a linear actuator for solar tracking application. Depending on the application, they not only have to provide strong and reliable operation under exposed conditions, but they have to be accurate as well. When a storm comes your way, the main thing protecting your tracker's PV investment is the actuator arm stabilizing the array against the wind. A broken actuator arm or mount can result in damaged PV panels or loss of the entire array.

Austin Mini-Maker Faire Entry

The Austin Mini Maker Faire is coming up May 5'th, and we've got our application in the hat to be there showing people about solar trackers with our dual-axis BMX bike frame project Lil'Red. The occassion helped us finally get another YouTube video done! Check it out:

Happy Valentines to the Oil Companies

I just had to share this slightly snarky video from Fuels America with everyone.

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