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  • Simple3 commented on bwitmer's instructable Solar PV Tracker3 weeks ago
    Solar PV Tracker

    As far as turning north/south, you can add more actuatorsbut your equipment would need to be more refined in order to run smoothly andwork at the same time. The machinery would have to be more sophisticated andexpensive to work right and you would have to spend more time tweaking to getit to do what you want.At my job, we installed panels in the Gulf of Mexico. They were stationary, facing south at a 40 degreeangle. They only factored in 5 hours a day to figure power stored per day, becausethe percentage is low in morning and evening.If you really want to get completely off the grid, you haveto consider cost and maintenance.Lookat your electric bill, figure your average cost per month for a whole year. Thenwork up the complete cost of your solar panel project. Divide the project costby ...

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    As far as turning north/south, you can add more actuatorsbut your equipment would need to be more refined in order to run smoothly andwork at the same time. The machinery would have to be more sophisticated andexpensive to work right and you would have to spend more time tweaking to getit to do what you want.At my job, we installed panels in the Gulf of Mexico. They were stationary, facing south at a 40 degreeangle. They only factored in 5 hours a day to figure power stored per day, becausethe percentage is low in morning and evening.If you really want to get completely off the grid, you haveto consider cost and maintenance.Lookat your electric bill, figure your average cost per month for a whole year. Thenwork up the complete cost of your solar panel project. Divide the project costby your average monthly electric cost to figure how many months it will take tostart getting truly FREE electricity. If you can’t get off the grid completelyyou will most likely have to talk to your electric company. I have heard that someare starting to charge fees to people with solar panels.OTHER THINGS TOTHINK ABOUT;1. More parts and more maintenance will mean more costs2. Solar panel efficiency has been increased, so you willhave to figure out which new model will work for getting the power you need,along with the costs differences and power outputs.3. The author, bwitmer, mentioned snow, and there areother weather factors as well, so being able to get full solar power every dayis hard in most places.4. At noon you get the most power, because the sun’s raysare coming through the least (thinnest) amount of the earth’s atmosphere.5. Haze, smoke, dust, pollen, bird droppings, shadows onpanel, and passing clouds all cut power output.6. In winter it can be cloudy for a week or more, youwould need a back up generator, or maybe windmills in the right place.7. Remember solar panels are DC, your home is AC. You needa full wave inverter8. DC loses a lot of power through long cables, keep cablesshort as possible to feed the batteriesThis is some basic information. There is a lot more tofigure out in order to get off the grid entirely. While I am no sort of expert,I like to try to help out. I do my best to keep things easy to understand andwork on. Hope this helps you.

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  • Simple3 commented on bwitmer's instructable Solar PV tracker1 year ago
    Solar PV tracker

    People were talking about what angle to set the tilt of the solar panel for different cities around the world. All of the suggestions were about using charts, books or internet sites to get the information. Yes, the sun moves and the tracker takes care of East to West settings; my simple solution takes care of North to South settings without the math or internet. You can reuse this dowel method to adjust the tilt of the panel manually just a few times a year as seasons change and the sun is at a different angle in the sky. It will be close to accurate and will avoid having to adjust the panel as often.

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  • Simple3 commented on bwitmer's instructable Solar PV tracker1 year ago
    Solar PV tracker

    There is an easy way ati adjust your solar panel whether level or not level, any season, any sunny day, anywhere on earth, any time of day, NO MATH involved. In the center of a piece of plywood or plastic, mount a 1inch x 12 inch dowel. Place the piece on the solar panel so that the dowel is in the exact center of the array, and temporarily tape it in place. Adjust the panel until the dowel has no shadow whatsoever around it, and your solar panel is now facing head on into the sun. Remove the plywood and you will be getting the maximum output. No Calculations needed!

    There is an easy way to adjust your solar panel for tracking on level or unlevel ground, any season, any sunny day, anywhere on earth, any time of day, NO Math involved. Cut a piece of plywood or plastic, mount a 1 inch x 12 inch dowel in the center. Place the plywood with dowel installed in the center face of the solar panel and tape it there temporarily. Adjust the placement of the plywood so that the dowel has no shadow at all. When there is no shadow around the dowel at all, it is fully facing the sun and will give you max power. At this point, remove the plywood and your panel is facing full on into the sun. No calculations needed!

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