Solar Chasers

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Shared:2020-09-30

Last updated:2020-10-02

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joanne.steiger

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Introduction:

Lights can be seen around us during the day and at night. We need lights to survive and to help us see things. There are many different sources of light and some of them are not very friendly to our environment. Using too much light pollutes our living ecosystems and to solve this problem, we can use a smart lighting system. During the Coronavirus pandemic in July 2020, many residents in Melbourne’s public housing were not allowed to leave their building and they used a lot of power to light up their building. As a consequence many residents were faced with high electricity bills that they cannot afford. To reduce the cost of their bill, one of the solutions may be to collect sun energy using solar panels. The panel then converts solar energy to electricity. This idea is eco-friendly because we are using natural sunlight and it is also a smart lighting system because we can use our updated technology such as sensors to maximize the collection of solar energy. Currently, the existing solution is fixed solar panels that doesn’t follow the sun all the time. Also, on the roof top of high rise buildings, there is not enough room to install the panels. To improve the current design, we tried and tested a Dual Axis Solar Tracker. This tracker will be useful to attach to the side of a high rise building because the panel can move up, down, left and right to continuously track the movement of the sun. The more solar energy the solar panel collects, the more electricity the residents can use to light up their buildings; without relying on man made electricity that is produced by burning coal at the power stations. The main resources used were: 1) https://theiotprojects.com/dual-axis-solar-tracker-arduino-project-using-ldr-servo-motors/ by Alsan Parajuli 2) https://thestempedia.com/project/light-tracking-robot/ by Jennifer Christian 3) https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2017/07/wall-mounted-solar-trend/ by Canute Haroldson

Instructions:

Hardware: 1) Purchase the Pan and Tilt Bracket Mount, Solar Panel and 2 9G Servos 2) Purchase the rest of the components as per the circuit diagram provided below 3) Print the Turret using a 3D Printer. You can find the STL files in https://theiotprojects.com/dual-axis-solar-tracker-arduino-project-using-ldr-servo-motors/ by Alsan Parajuli 4) Construct the circuit as per the circuit diagram provided below As an option, you can also solder the circuit wires together Software: 1) Open the MBlock program and select the Device: Arduino Uno 2) Download the Source Code provided below 3) Connect the Arduino Uno to your computer and upload the code to Arduino 4) Test to check if the circuit works by using a narrow light source 5) Shine the narrow light on the LDR sensors and see if the tracker moves 6) If the light is shining on the right sensor, the tracker should move to the right 7) If the light is shining on the top sensor, the tracker should face upwards

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