RedRok Solar Tracker

I am looking for a solar tracker for a DIY project, and I want to make sure that this site is reputable. The product I am looking at is called LED3XS24Vc3 and it is located on this website: http://www.redrok.com/led3xassm.htm

It seems like a very good product, but I just want to make sure before I buy it. Has anyone bought this product before?

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,741 admin
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    If you search this website, you will get a few hits...

    Solar Tracker Thread with some info/discussion about Redrok. The website was down for a bit last year, but, obviously is up now.

    For the most part, few people here probably use trackers... The overall system tends to be more expensive and unreliable (electro-mechanical problems) vs just spending the money saved on a tracker on more solar panels instead.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • sawmillsawmill Solar Expert Posts: 93 ✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    I am using two of the Redrok trackers. I have been pleased with their operation especially the newer version which eliminates a lot of hunting during cloudy weather.

    If you had to buy the commericial units I agree fully with BB that your money would be better used by buying more panels.

    I use the old C-sat dishes for the frame work(free for the asking in my area)

    My first Redrok tracker is now going on four years old with zero problems.

    Bill
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    For the solar tracker, how did you actually build it? I'm having trouble determining which kind of motors and gears i would need.
  • sawmillsawmill Solar Expert Posts: 93 ✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    I use some of the basic framework from the obsolete Sat dishes that ranged from 8 to 12 feet in diameter. The linear actuator that operated the dish is utilized for solar panel movement. The slow movement of these actuators coupled with the Redrok tracker make for an ideal conversion. These require a 12 volt source for operation. These old dishes have a manual adjustment for tilt. I adjust mine 4 times a year.

    These actuators have adjustable limit switches so it is easy to adjust your east and west stop points.

    These limit switches are MANDATORY for the Redrok tracker to operate.

    I use four inch alum channel to mount my panels on. You can observe some of the commericial units for your own ideas.

    This conversion does require metal work, a small investment in steel and alum materials, and a large amount of sweat equity. Hope this helps.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    Would it be possible to use a motor instead of a linear actutator? or is the redrok not designed for that?

    also. if you have to use a linear actuator, where would that be placed on the mount. because wouldnt the linear actuator adjust the slope of the panel and not the direction of the panel?
  • sawmillsawmill Solar Expert Posts: 93 ✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    You could use any type of geared motor that has very slow and even movement and proper linkage. The actuator on old dishes move the dish East and West. The tilt is adjusted manually with a threaded rod. This is what makes these old dishes easy to convert to solar tracking.

    It is MANDATORY to have limit switches with the Redrok unit so the motor (dish or panel) knows when to stop in the East and West positions. This tracker will automatically return the unit to the East (after dark) so your panels are ready for the morning sun.

    Suggest you read the specs concerning voltage and amperage of the Redrok units if using a different motor (so as not to exceed it's capacity) and fully understand the use and purpose of limit switches in this type of application.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    If i do use a linear actuator, would an 11 inch stroke be long enough for a solar panel that is about 3 feet long?
    This is the linear actuator that I'm looking at.
    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200333245_200333245
    Also, do you think it would be possible for the linear acuator to be mounted on this?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,741 admin
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    "this" is a 15 solar panel (at least for me...).

    If you are planning on tracking with a few 15 watt panels--does not make much sense. If you are planning on having the 15 watt panel charge a battery for powering the solar tracker--I would probably suggest a mono/poly crystalline solar panel over an Amorphous type (should have a longer life with the crystalline panels).

    As for the size of the solar panel (watts), we would need to know the operating load of the electronics and tracker (day and night, in watts, or volts*amps, and # of hours during day/night loading). Also the size of the battery would be nice to know too (too small of solar panel could under charge the battery and cause early failure... Too large of battery vs solar panel could also cause battery failure--especially if the battery is a flooded cell--or are you planning on AGM--in either case, you should also get a solar charge controller of some type too).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker
    If i do use a linear actuator, would an 11 inch stroke be long enough for a solar panel that is about 3 feet long?
    This is the linear actuator that I'm looking at.
    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200333245_200333245
    Also, do you think it would be possible for the linear acuator to be mounted on this?

    That's a particularly poor unit. And really expensive
    to boot. The lock to lock time is about 54 seconds.

    You want to use C-band satellite dish actuators.
    Probably 24V to 36V types and run them on 12V.
    24" is nice.

    Duane
    Red Rock Energy
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    Hi,

    The best two axis solar tracking system to be applied to any mechanical system we have is the SolarElectronica Company.
    You can see details www.solarelectronica.com
    and best of all, very affordable.
    That works great. I bought the unit, some time ago and works with incredible accuracy regardless of my engines are the worst!
    I use CPV (concentration modules)
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,185 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    Is there is info about how many square feet you can track? Is there retail/wholesale pricing, and a distributor dakicha?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 985 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    I just ran the pcwatts program for my system (as per signature). I just wish there was a selection for seasonal tilt adjustment. That would make things absolutely clear. Any ideas on what percentage you can add to output if you seasonally adjust as opposed to tracking or fixed tilt?

    Ralph
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,185 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    Ralph,
    There are numerous spread sheets! I would say a max of 5%! I once turned off the azimuth track and just did tilt on a Wattsun and was near 5% for a beta test.
    If there ever was a case for just adding more panels and not doing anything I would say tilt adjusting is that case. Don't get me started on azimuth tracking....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,741 admin
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    For PV Watts, you can do different tilts, then just cut and paste a composite results in the spread sheet (four different tilts for the four seasons, paste them together in a spread sheet and let it add them up for you).

    If you do fixed tilt, you might favor winter if a winter cabin, or summer if time of use and lots of A/C... Etc...

    Or, as Dave says, scrap the seasonal tilting and just add more panels (possibly for less or equal costs overall).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 985 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    My seasonal tilting for the 10kw system (actually 12kw pv and 10kw inverters) is easy. The balance is such that one person can change the angle of the entire array (70 feet of panels) in less than 5 minutes with a minimum of effort. My domestic 2kw takes half an hour to adjust!

    Just did the math on the pvwatts...seasonal adjustment adds about 4% to the harvest about $470 per year x 20 year contract @80.2 cents = $9383.00 That seems worth 5 minutes x 6 per year = 30 minutes per year. That's 10 hours over 20 years $9383/10 = $938 per hour! I'm in the CEO pay category (for 30 minutes per year).:p

    Ralph
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker
    dakicha wrote: »
    Hi,

    The best two axis solar tracking system to be applied to any mechanical system we have is the SolarElectronica Company.
    You can see details www.solarelectronica.com

    I went to this web site and thy dont'; seem to be selling anything, what did you buy from them?
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    Probably on Alibaba - they have some deals that are too good to be true!

    And people have found that out - Alibaba has a big scandal.
  • jcgee88jcgee88 Solar Expert Posts: 154 ✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker
    Ralph Day wrote: »
    My seasonal tilting for the 10kw system ... is easy. The balance is such that one person can change the angle of the entire array (70 feet of panels) in less than 5 minutes with a minimum of effort. Ralph

    What kind of rack did you use to enable seasonal adjustments?
    Was it something off the shelf, a modification of an off the shelf
    rack, or a DIY rack?

    I have a fixed angle rack. When the tech was putting it up and
    I mentioned the desire for seasonal adjustment, he said that
    the array weighed in at about 400 lbs (8 panels * 44 lbs) and that
    it would take at least 3 people to change the tilt angle even if I
    did have an adjustable rack.

    In my case, I have a 30 degree up-tilted string (net 10 degrees tilt
    angle) on my north facing roof, and a flush mounted, 20 degree
    array on my south facing roof. In the summer, the 10 degree
    panels yield about 15 watts per panel more, and in the winter,
    it's the reverse. I don't know if my Unirac rack can be modified to
    allow a seasonal change, but I would like to consider it for the
    string on my north roof, since that is easily accessible.

    John
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 985 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    My 10kw racking was all home grown...from engineer to fabrication using all local people (and Ontario content steel). The microFIT rules stipulated how/what/when stuff had to come from.

    My home 2.1kw system was Unirac for 8 panels and Ralphrack for 4. Those 4 panels are on an old satellite tracking system, one axis seasonal and one axis tracker (Redrock sensor).

    The microFIT racking is built to withstand 100mph winds. If I''m still around after such a burst, great! I'd expect to be picking branches out of my teeth though.

    Ralph
  • johnljohnl Solar Expert Posts: 30
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    While they may not be as cheap as whatever is being offered on Alibaba, or perhaps not as fancy as Ralphrack, I purchased my pedestal mounts from True North, and I'm really happy with them. I can adjust the tilt on each 12 panel mount to my reference-angle marks in less than a minute by loosening two allen key nuts and pushing or pulling lightly on the remarkably well balanced rack with one hand.
    (OK that sounded a bit much.....no, I'm not a paid astroturfer or a corporate shill....just a satisfied customer.)

    They have put some effort in to quantifying the difference between fixed axis, single axis, single axis with seasonal tilt, and dual axis:
    http://www.truenorthpower.com/images/stories/FilesDNLD/az_vsdual_axis_tilt.pdf
  • Peter_VPeter_V Solar Expert Posts: 226 ✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker
    I went to this web site and thy dont'; seem to be selling anything, what did you buy from them?

    Pretty sure dakicha was a company shill.

    Only one post ever here and it was to endorse a product that isn't actually for sale yet.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    Johnl , were you able to get to the NASA data referenced in the brochure? I tried searching their site and nada...:confused:
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    For NASA weather data http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/sse/
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: RedRok Solar Tracker

    got it, thanks Russ
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
Sign In or Register to comment.