Can anyone tell me where I can guy a motor and gear box for my own tracking system?

Can anyone tell me where I can guy a motor and gear box for my own tracking system?

I want to have a mirror between two panels like this Photo:
PICT10.jpg
from http://www.solar-trackers.com/
hopefully that boosts energy up maybe 10 to 15%

Then I want a tracking system like this one to increase efficiency another 30 %
lancette6.jpg
lancette7.jpg

these images are from http://www.redrok.com/electron.htm#tripod
this guy sells the solar tracking electronics and has a ton of information on his site, but it's a little big hard for a non electronics type person like me to grasp.

I like the fact that this design is a ground mount and I will make the back (north rail) adjustable so I can adjust it 4 times a year . I also like that it does not require concrete footers like single pole designs.

Has anyone who has experience tell me how I can get the right size gear motor and motor so that it does not get over exerted and burn up the motor? Perhaps a DIY guide?
Thanks.

Comments

  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: Can anyone tell me where I can guy a motor and gear box for my own tracking syste

    perhaps
    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m570&_nkw=C-band+satellite+dish+actuator&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    one of these actuators would be better? that is what red rock recommends anyways.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,226 admin
    Re: Can anyone tell me where I can guy a motor and gear box for my own tracking syste

    A couple tracker threads here:

    Eletrician Going Off Grid - Sizing / Questions
    RedRok Solar Tracker

    Read Dave Spark's posts closely... He loves trackers and makes a good living installing/maintaining them in the California Sierra Mountains.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Can anyone tell me where I can guy a motor and gear box for my own tracking syste

    Personally for all the trouble and expense of mirrors and trackers, at today's Pv prices I would buy a few more panels and might possibly be both money and energy ahead net/net.

    T
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Can anyone tell me where I can guy a motor and gear box for my own tracking syste

    wouldn't one have to spend a lot of time keeping the mirrors clean and dust free?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Can anyone tell me where I can guy a motor and gear box for my own tracking syste

    the higher solar intensities will degrade the pvs so they won't last very many years, not to mention void any warranties. if that was a painted white wall instead of a mirror then it's within acceptable reflective parameters to stay within warranty and won't abnormally degrade the pvs' lifespan.
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: Can anyone tell me where I can guy a motor and gear box for my own tracking syste

    "the higher solar intensities will degrade the pvs so they won't last very many years,"

    If you use a 30-60-90 right triangle mirror surface, sized correctly it will boost the light out put by 50% theoretically on the panel. (angle of incidence equals angle of reflection and in a 30-60-90 triangle the base is half the hypotenuse giving you 50%) However the mirror obviously will get dirty and it's efficiency might be around 80%.

    So 80x50% = 40% gain in solar.

    I've looked around and found that around the equator solar Insolation is around 6 kwh/m2/day

    I the USA it is around 3 to 5 depending on where you live.

    http://www.solarpanelsplus.com/solar-insolation-levels/

    Let's say it's 4 kwh/m2/day, the mirror adds 40% to bring it up to 5.6 kwh/m2/day

    I have no doubt it would void the warranty, but logically moving your panel from Virginia to Venesula should void the warranty as well.

    Assuming the panel makers make their panels to work at the equator with solar intensities up to 6 kwh/m2/day,

    then adding a mirror should not degrade them prematurely IF YOU live in an area with 4 kwh/m2/day or less insolation.

    That's a big assumption though. I'd appreciate any thoughts on this.
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    panels woud be gigantic.

    Just did some quick math about these panel sizes.
    assume you have two panels with a 60-60-60 mirror wedge in between.
    If you use a 26"x60" 135watt Kyrocera panel
    You end up with 6.5 foot wide by 5 feet tall if you wanted two panels per side that is 10 feet tall.
    I'd have to build the rotation point at least 2 feet off the ground to get that huge panel to rotate 30 degrees.

    It's even worse if you use a bigger 40" wide panel, then the width of the system goes to 10 feet.
  • Peter_VPeter_V Solar Expert Posts: 226 ✭✭✭
    Re: Can anyone tell me where I can guy a motor and gear box for my own tracking syste
    Then I want a tracking system like this one to increase efficiency another 30 %

    I'm not sure that tracker will get you an extra 30%, looks like a simple 1 axis tracker. That's good for 15-20%, 20-25% if you add seasonal tilt adjustments.

    I'm not a fan of motorized trackers. The motors and electronics tends to wear out/burn out frequently.

    You might want to consider passive trackers like the ones I use (Zomeworks), other than the bearings and shocks there is virtually nothing to wear out on them. With proper maintenance they should last decades.

    I'm working up a set of instructions for a Homemade Tracker (sorry work in progress)
    However, unless you know how to weld and have ready access to 15-20 lbs of freon (R-22), it's probably cheaper to buy these than it is to build them.

    As for the mirrors, I'm not sure that's a good idea. It's definitely going to reduce the life span of your panels due to the extra heat, though how much is the big question.
    They will also increase the wind loading on your array. This means you'll have to beef up the supports. When you add up the costs of the mirrors, support structure, etc. it might be almost as expensive as just buying a couple extra panels.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Can anyone tell me where I can guy a motor and gear box for my own tracking syste
    Peter_V wrote: »
    As for the mirrors, I'm not sure that's a good idea. It's definitely going to reduce the life span of your panels due to the extra heat, though how much is the big question.
    They will also increase the wind loading on your array. This means you'll have to beef up the supports. When you add up the costs of the mirrors, support structure, etc. it might be almost as expensive as just buying a couple extra panels.
    I agree. If you use mirrors you'll have to track them, so you might as well just track the modules. The tolerance for tracking mirrors is a lot tighter; when you track modules, the angle is not that critical, but mirrors reflect in one direction only, so they are either on target or not. And then, as you say, there's the heat.

    I wouldn't waste my time and money on adding mirrors to a PV system, but of course YMMV.
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