What better to make out of an old boy's BMX bike frame than an equatorial style tracking mount that can be used for solar energy to get nearly 50% more power out of a couple PV panels! Most solar trackers are either big expensive things, or so small and flimsy as to be completely impractical. I wanted to come up with something in between. And just for fun I wanted to make it a true equatorial tracking mount instead of an Altitude-Azimuth style mount. The concept is simple enough: use the handle bar as the control arm for the main polar axis with the front forks, the bike frame is turned upside down, and then tilted up to get the correct polar angle for the latitude, then a frame that mounts on top of the forks and pivots on the original axle bolt locations provides declination adjustment and support for the PV panel. There's a little bit of work to be done on the forks and the frame to accommodate the linear actuators that will move the tracker, but it can all be done with basic MIG skills on most steel frames. Nobody could guess what I was building when I made it at TechShop (www.techshop.ws
) using just MIG1, Ironworker, and basic metal shop class skills and tools. Final control is provided by a Home CSP
Mega Tracker dual-axis digital controller.