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Any electronics bods on here?

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  • Any electronics bods on here?

    I'm trying to put together a simple circuit using IC comparators to drive a DC motor in either direction for solar tracking.

    I have looked at many electronics forums, but these dudes design motherboards for a living, and speak a different language to me. As helpful as they are, they cannot do layman's terms.

    Anyone on here have a basic understanding of electronics to help me put this together ?

    ta!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Half man, half Octoplus, half bean wannabe test pilot.

  • #2
    I can wire a plug if that's any help ?
    On the gathering storm comes a tall handsome man, in a dusty black coat and red right hand.

    Comment


    • #3
      I C Comparators to drive a D C motor for solar tracking......whats that in laymans terms??

      Comment


      • #4
        Luke on a more serious note.
        Try www.discovercircuits.com/C/comparitor.htm and click on the Dave's cicuits icon on the top of the page.
        This will take you to a cicuits diagram page which may help.
        Last edited by SPADGER; 5 October 2010, 12:28 PM.
        On the gathering storm comes a tall handsome man, in a dusty black coat and red right hand.

        Comment


        • #5
          Cheers spadge, plenty on there for digestion, I'll have a wade through. Problem I have, is not really being an electronics bod, it's difficult to know what is correct.

          rjays...I am trying to put together a self-tracking solar panel. Solar panels are great when they are at the optimum angle to the sun ( east to west ), but as the sun moves across the sky from east to west, the performance of the panel is reduced either side of noon, as this is when the sun is highest in the sky, and typically panels are set facing south, to get the best sun at midday.

          What I want to do is get two small panels, side by side, mounted to a rotating pole that is driven by a motor. Inbetween the two panels will be a separator ( like a vertical wall ), so that when the panels are NOT directly facing the sun, one of the panels will be in slight shade from the centre shading panel. This will cause a difference in voltages at each panel, and the one that is in more direct sunlight will be producing a slightly higher voltage.

          The two panels will be effectively called east and west, if for instance the east panel is producing a higher voltage, then this means the pair of panels are too far west, so the pair of panels on the pole need to be motored east so they are both directly facing the sun. I will know when the panels are both in direct sunlight, as they will be both producing the same voltage. It's this equilibrium I'm after, when both panels are direct to sunlight, and no shadow can be made by the barrier. An IC comparator will look at the voltage from each panel, and switch it's output on or off depending on which is panel is highest. The circuit needs at least 2 comparators to cross reference each panels voltage twice, and stop the motor just cycling about. Apologies if it's not laymans, but that's what it is!

          There are loads of plans on the net, but they are hugely complicated, and to be honest I wanted to come up with something myself, albeit with a shove in the right direction with the electronics side. Ultimately, I would like a a solar thermal heating system, and like solar electric, it works best when tracking the sun.

          Like this:

          YouTube - Solar tracker
          [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

          Half man, half Octoplus, half bean wannabe test pilot.

          Comment


          • #6
            The concept is a sound one, will it be cost effective with reference to the amount of energy it will generate ?
            Can the energy generated be stored ?
            On the gathering storm comes a tall handsome man, in a dusty black coat and red right hand.

            Comment


            • #7
              interesting thread,way above my head but watching with interest,my only concern is the massive leap in technolgy from dibbers from ikea wardrobes to this
              fair play to you luke.

              ps get your hair cut
              brookside anglers EX- superstar

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by davebee View Post
                interesting thread,way above my head but watching with interest,my only concern is the massive leap in technolgy from dibbers from ikea wardrobes to this
                fair play to you luke.

                ps get your hair cut
                Your right Dave. The dibbers where way above his intellect so he's gone back to basics.
                On the gathering storm comes a tall handsome man, in a dusty black coat and red right hand.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SPADGER View Post
                  The concept is a sound one, will it be cost effective with reference to the amount of energy it will generate ?
                  Can the energy generated be stored ?

                  Spadger,

                  All these means of renewable energy are viable, what makes some more viable than others is the time in years it takes to recoup the costs of installation & equipment. If I had 15K spare, I could go and get kitted out with solar heat and electric, but it would take about 20 years to payback, and thats even with the grants and incentives the government are dishing out. To give you an idea, if you have solar, every one KWH ( a standard unit, costs you between 12 and 15p ) that you make, regardles of whether it gets shipped out to the grid, or used in your home, the Gov will give you about 35p.

                  Where I live now has zero potential for solar anything, it's just too shaded by trees. What I want to do is build my own tracking system for either solar electric or thermal, and hopefully a homemade thermal collector that I can get working, and then scale up for when I move house, whenever that may be.

                  Basically what I want to end up with, is a solar electric source that will track and power the equipment needed to point an array of either electic or thermal panels or collectors to direct sunlight. Solar thermal is relativly easy to build yourself, in it's simplest form it's burning ants with a magnifying glass, solar electric is more expensive for the DIY'er, as the solar cells can only be bought, though you can still save money by turning individual cells into panels...

                  The trouble is that it's all reletavely new technology, and it's only the last few years have seen it migrate to the hobby/DIY side of things, so as it stands, if you want it bought, it's expensive.
                  [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                  Half man, half Octoplus, half bean wannabe test pilot.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Luke, i have a mate with an old Delorian sports car, and ive got some Meccanno and a broken stereo.

                    Do you think you can get me back to 1987 ??

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Best of luck Luke.
                      Sounds a really interesting project, keep us updated as the Carpstalker national grid comes to fruition.
                      On the gathering storm comes a tall handsome man, in a dusty black coat and red right hand.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NJH View Post
                        Luke, i have a mate with an old Delorian sports car, and ive got some Meccanno and a broken stereo.

                        Do you think you can get me back to 1987 ??

                        What, so your clothes and haircut fit in?


                        Spadger.....I'm not under any illusions of large power outputs, nor am I a tree hugger. It's just a project/hobby really, more about the tracker than the solar energy. Nearest addage I can think of is 'why does a dog lick it's own willy?'.........
                        [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                        Half man, half Octoplus, half bean wannabe test pilot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by luke carpstalker View Post
                          What, so your clothes and haircut fit in?


                          Spadger.....I'm not under any illusions of large power outputs, nor am I a tree hugger. It's just a project/hobby really, more about the tracker than the solar energy. Nearest addage I can think of is 'why does a dog lick it's own willy?'.........
                          Because it can ?

                          Never sugested you where a tree hugger mate and the NG quip was an analogy. As they say up here.

                          Calm down, calm down.
                          Last edited by SPADGER; 7 October 2010, 10:08 PM.
                          On the gathering storm comes a tall handsome man, in a dusty black coat and red right hand.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good luck with your project Luke, keep us posted of your progress.
                            'why does a dog lick it's own willy?'......... because it can't hold a nail brush, or open a bottle of Dettol
                            If you can't laugh at yourself, life is going to seem a whole lot longer than you'd like.:D:D:p

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                            • #15
                              Spadger, I didn't read anything funny into your post mate, just explaining the reason behind wanting to do it.
                              [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                              Half man, half Octoplus, half bean wannabe test pilot.

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