Dual axis solar tracking system using zero cross detection system
Renewable energy solutions are becoming increasingly popular, solar power is one of the most powerful renewable energy. Maximizing power output from a solar system is desirable to increase efficiency. In order to maximize power output from solar panels, one needs to keep the panels aligned with the sun. In this paper, a prototype for a microcontroller-based dual-axis multi-function solar tracking system is designed, which will keep the solar panels aligned with the sun in order to maximize the power generation. This system is designed using micro-controller, light sensors, gear system and motors. This tracking system has additional function such as cloudy day assist. The solar tracker, a device that keeps photovoltaic or photo thermal panels in an optimum position perpendicularly to the solar radiation during daylight hours, can increase the collected energy by up to 50%. Commercially; single-axis tracking mechanisms are available. Usually, the single axis tracker follows the Sun’s East-West movement. The model of dual axis tracking is introduced in order to track the sun both in north-south axis as well as in east-west axis. This is possible by constructing the solar panel mount to rotate over both the axis, in this prototype the mount base is made to rotate in north-south direction and the head of the mount is made to rotate in the east-west direction. Zero cross detection method is using to track the sun; in this dual axis method two zero crossing detection are used to track sun in all directions. Zero cross method means comparing two LDRs values to find maximum light source.