a solar tracker issue

unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
the other day my lorentz solar tracker just stood. had eight years running and is the first time it has failed. saturday morning I've been working and doing checks on the seeker. I put it in manual and I tried moving east and west. sounds strangely alone for a short time (less than one second) and everything is normal, but stopped ... the power light stays on continuously.

it works thanks to a typical actuator like these that which is used to move parabolic antennas for satellite tv...

after this I removed the actuator cover to see how everything was. I did a visual check and a with a tester I've done some electrical checks... all connections and voltages apparently are well...too I checked with the tester the reed switch operation and find that it not work ...

i find that the actuator does not move more than one turn of the screw that move the arm. is quite possible that the reed switch is failing, because apparently the screw run only a turn and stops.... apparently, maybe the electronic control does not detect the rotation of magnetic wheel by reed switch failure, and then the system is stopped by some protective mechanism. this is possible?...finally I've also tried to directly move the actuator directly powered with his own battery, and i was verified the perfect operation of the actuator all the way,(in and out) without producing any high current draw all the way, and limit systems work perfectly, and the movement is without any stumbling block or obstacle, apparently the actuator works perfectly.

I was only found that the reed switch does not act when the magnetic wheel rotate, so maybe replacing failing reed switch, the entire electronic control can works correctly?...

I wondered where I could find a reed switch, (we are in weekend and in the middle of the mountain) I wondered where I could find a reed switch ASAP!!!, even if I would have any running somewhere around in some machine... was with predatory instinct, I wanted to be the solar tracker repaired as soon as possible and sure, I can pluck the reed switch from anywhere!!! ...finally I have a good idea!!!...., i go to a chinese shop in a nearly village, and bought a (extremely simple) 'home alarm' that contained reed switch in the sensor (it cost me 1€). I replaced the reed switch and the actuator began to move properly, and so continues to this day

I get finally repair the solar tracker in some hours, an in the land, and in a weekend!...;-)

this is the new reed switch, a simple elongated glass bulb of a very small size, properly insulated, installed in place:
Attachment not found.

the reed switch that is broken...
Attachment not found.

i want to know if any one has find a failed reed switch, since they have a reputation for being extremely durable and reliable...

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,511 admin
    Re: a solar tracker issue

    For an Off-The-Wall suggestion, you might try any place that sells burglar alarm components... I don't know if you can convert one of their reed switches to work for you or not.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mtdocmtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
    Re: a solar tracker issue

    Bill,

    Have a closer look at his post. I think he beat you to it!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,511 admin
    Re: a solar tracker issue

    Look at the time of his update/edit to the post vs the time of my post... ;)

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: a solar tracker issue
    BB. wrote: »
    Look at the time of his update/edit to the post vs the time of my post... ;)

    don't be evil, Bill, I have not changed anything about the meaning of the message, I just fixed some bugs of my bad English ... ;-)
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: a solar tracker issue
    BB. wrote: »
    For an Off-The-Wall suggestion, you might try any place that sells burglar alarm components... I don't know if you can convert one of their reed switches to work for you or not.

    that's what I did, Bill, but this is a hidden site with very small towns, so I had to settle for buying a Chinese shop, which is the most advanced I could find here... the idea is the same, Bill!... is a very good idea, but I told it before ...hehehehe
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,511 admin
    Re: a solar tracker issue

    OK, ok... I missed the Chinese alarm shop paragraph.

    Sorry,
    -Bill :blush:
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: a solar tracker issue
    BB. wrote: »
    OK, ok... I missed the Chinese alarm shop paragraph.

    Sorry,
    -Bill :blush:

    anything at all, you've been very sympathetic! ... ;-)
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