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A Sun Tracking Solar Power System

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Collection

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Computer Applications in Energy Conversion

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

14.122.1 - 14.122.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4707

Download Count

1886

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Paper Authors

biography

Liping Guo Northern Illinois University

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Liping Guo received the B. E. degree in Automatic Control from Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China in 1997, the M. S. and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Auburn University, AL, USA in 2001 and 2006 respectively.

She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering Technology Program in the Department of Technology at the Northern Illinois University. Her research interests are mainly in the area of power electronics, renewable energy, embedded systems and control. Dr. Guo is a member of the ASEE, IEEE and a member of the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi.

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Paul Curtis Northern Illinois University

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Andrew Barendregt Northern Illinois University

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Anthony Surillo Northern Illinois University

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Design and Implementation of A Sun Tracking Solar Power System

ABSTRACT

A senior design project is an integral part of the undergraduate engineering technology degree program requirements at a four-year engineering technology institution. All students are required to complete a two-semester long (4 credit hours) senior design project. Three electrical engineering technology undergraduate students formed a senior design project team to design and implement a sun tracking solar power system. A majority of solar panels in use today are stationary and therefore do not output the maximum amount of power that they can actually produce. This paper describes the senior design project that utilizes solar power to its full potential by tracking the sun throughout the day. The solar tracker follows the sun from east to west during the day. More energy is collected by controlling the solar panel to follow the sun like a sunflower. The solar tracking system is a mechatronic system that integrates electrical and mechanical systems, and computer hardware and software. The main components in the solar tracking system are standard photovoltaic solar panels (PV), a deep cycle rechargeable battery, battery charger, stepper motor, signal conditioning circuits and a BasicX-24p microcontroller.

INTRODUCTION

Solar energy conversion is one of the most addressed topics in the field of renewable energy. Solar radiation is usually converted into two forms of energy: thermal and electrical energy. The solar electricity has applications in many systems such as rural electricity, water pumping and satellite communications.

The efficiency of the photovoltaic (PV) system depends on the climate conditions of solar radiation, ambient temperature and wind speed, matching of the system with the load and appropriate placement of the solar panels. A majority of solar panels in use today are stationary and therefore do not consistently output the maximum amount of power that they can actually produce. A solar tracker will track the sun throughout the day and adjust the angle of the solar panel to make the sun normal to the solar panels at all times. The orientation of the solar panels may increase the efficiency of the conversion system from 20% up to 50%. [1-3]. The sun tracking solar power system is a mechatronic system that integrates electrical and mechanical systems, and computer hardware and software.

SYSTEM GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The initial requirements for this project were as follows: 5 watt to 10 watt solar panel Design structure to support 15 lbs Design enclosure to protect electrical equipment Use microcontroller to control and monitor the system

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