solar tracker

Dark Blue and Dark Star 2.0 Solar Tracking Controller

First there was the Tiny Tracker. Soon followed by the Tiny Tracker HD.
Then came the Track'n Park which introduced a programmable parking position.
Then came the Dark Star -- Dual axis Remote Controlled Solar tracker and remote sensor
It used a 315Mhz remote control with 12 buttons, but that was so '90s and just another thing to have to keep track of.

Using an Anemometer with the Track'n Park

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.

New Product - HB2 Heavy Duty Motor Driver

This is the perfect MOSFET based motor driver for heavy duty satellite dish style linear actuators. Opto-isolated to protect your control circuit. Just supply separate power (like from our step-up converters) to the HB2 for the actuator motor, and all connections are neatly managed.

TinyTracker HD

While the original TinyTracker has been a huge success, it is limited to about 2A maximum current which isn't enough for larger heavy duty tracking motors. Responding to the need for a tracking controller that can handle more power, Home CSP Inc.created the TinyTracker HD. The HD boards are distinguishable at a glance from the original by the red PCB. While it has the same basic footprint and microprocessor as the original TinyTracker, the new design features MOSFETs instead of the Darlington transistors on the original, and should handle up to 8A of current.

Light Vane Template

While the TinyTracker usually works fine by itself, sometimes due to reflections or environmental factors (trees, clouds, buildings, etc.) tracking accuracy may be less than desired. The use of a light vane almost always remedies this situation. Azimuth trackers in particular may need this since the incident solar angle varies throughout the day, and is often far from ideal at noon.

KickStarter Project Launch

Solibrium Project postcard front side

Today marks the launch of the "Solibrium" project on KickStarter. Solibrium is a dual-axis solar tracking pole mount system. The name was inspired by the concept of solar-equilibrium, which is the basic principle of operation for light detector based solar trackers.

Bicycle Tracker - Part 4

Bicycle Frame Dual-Axis Solar Tracker
Back side of bike frame solar tracker

This article will complete the process of assembling and setting up the dual-axis solar tracker. The last steps involve: sand and paint, assemble, setup, electrical, and calibration. I followed a philosophy of keep-it-simple where possible, and found the process went quite smoothly. It took approximately four days to finish, though I wasn't in a hurry.

DIY Dual Axis Bicycle Solar Tracker

Bicycle frame robot perspective - "It's alive!"

As soon as I became interested in solar trackers, I quickly realized that what was needed was a cheap practical mount. The Wright brothers and many others have been inspired by bicycle mechanisms. One day I happened to glance at a bunch of old bikes, and I suddenly saw a vision of the bike upside down with a moving panel on the front forks. The bicycle frame becomes what an astronomer would call an Alt-Az mount because it rotates about the horizontal axis (altitude) and the vertical axis (azimuth).

Bicycle Tracker - Part 3

In the first two parts of this series, I covered the actuator geometry and altitude and azimuth actuator mounts. This article will look at the frame for supporting the solar panels, and also discuss the welding process.

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