Equatorial Mount for Solar Panels and Solar Cookers and a Possible Alternative to Scheffler Solar Kitchens

About: I am a stone mason. My hobby is making new solar cooking and gardening stuff. I have used solar heat to cook soil for a couple of years. In mother earth news in January, i read that their compost expert does...

Some info on how equatorial mount works that may be helpful.



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    23 Discussions


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Sounds like spam to me. The equatorial mount thing is to keep the panels pointed at the sun all the time. This gets more electricity from them throughout the year. If the mount is cheap enough, it shortens the payback time. Estimates for how much electricity panels produce are likely to be wildly optimistic anyway. Production goes right down if they are slightly dirty or if they are not pointed exactly at the sun.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Very interesting. I am related to the Scheffler family in Germany and will be very interested in your final results.

    My attempt to scale this up to solar cooker size is at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7169062&l=bdacdfca26&id=736625766 It is going fairly well and the next part is to figure out how to make the reflector Here is video of the thing from the 6th September 2010

    and here is the link  for the video (embed looks strange just now)

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I can't see the video, neither with Firefox nor with Chrome.

    Please add some explanations, I am working in a similar mount, the matter is very interesting for me.

    14 replies

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhKYvwl86pA is the video direct link.
    I am not planning anything else.  It simply takes up too much time and I need to get back to other stuff (like work!) and earning money.
    You could put in a request for a new instructable  about equatorial mount on the forums.
    Anybody with a telescope probably knows more about it than me. It would be great to see them contribute.

    Yes, I understand your time problem perfectly. But have mercy on those who do not speak English, put complete subtitles in the video (now I can see it!) in English, of course. I could read and understand them very well, but I understand 10% what you say. There are thousands like me, I am not an isolated case.

    I know the equatorial mount, I use it in my solar cooker. It is the best mounting for a
    solar based device.

    My "parabola" is a mirror arrange, Scheffler-Fresnel like.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-JpBu6vCgE is a much shorter version and hopefully youtube captions or subtitles will work on it. 
    Please let me know if it is helpful

    http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/File:Gimp_equa_float_pistons.jpg is  the newest decendent of the dripper trackers. I may do an animation to make it clearer.
    I also added a transcript to the short video. It doesn't work exactly right but perhaps it helps a bit. It finally has captions! Hurah.

    Very interesting, but I can't understand why the blue gear turns... I will insist.

    Thanks for the captions. they help a lot. Now I can understand your proposal. I think it is a little complex. My design uses equatorial mount with a steady grid (it doesn't move anyway) where I put the foods to cook. The image is from an older assembling, but it serves as example.


    Hi, rimar2000, I thought of something today and thought of your photo again too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-bj0guW0k0 is an attempt to solve a center of gravity problem with parabolic reflectors as the sun path goes up and down with the seasons. But maybe your idea of the counterweight above the reflector dish would work with this also.   So In my video, the dish would still be attached at the sides with the seasonal adjustment made in the same way. But a counterweight would be attached above (like yours) to bring the center of gravity of the dish onto the focus. Once it is on the focus, you mount your dish and  you never have to adjust the mirrors (or anything else) again! The seasonal movement and daily movement will still have to be done by rotating as directed of course.
    Or is that totally wrong?

    Your thinking is correct, but I think not worth the hassle to take into account the seasonal movement of the sun, at least for a solar cooker, because either way, to begin cooking is needed be sure that the focus beat the food.

    My mirrors arrange is very heavy, the glass only, it weight 6 Kg. The support plat must be consequently strong, and consequently heavy... My counterweigth is a little light, but I don't want to do a VLM (very large machine) ;)

    I think you will have to adjust your mirrors sometimes for the seasons and your pot is not on the axis so it will work but not for the whole day without readjustment.
    We will just have to wait and see if anyone is interested, I guess.

    Yes, I will have to adjust the arrange of mirrors (as a whole) sometimes for the seasons.

    The pot  is exactly on the axis,  so it will work for the whole day without readjustment, only to seek (refocus with the crank) the sun each 10-15 minutes.

    Look, the thick tilted bar under the pot is the axis. My design is 90 degrees of yours. But it functions too, I cooked in winter meat, sausages, spaghetti, compote, etc. Successfully.

    Ok, sorry, now I get it.  (I was looking at the wrong axis!).
    Something between my  solar accumulating barbecue idea (but done much better that what I did)  and the  Scheffler designs.
    and you have a much better counterweight than I had too.
    (I guess the thing on the right up high is a counterweight?)
    Mirrors give a lot more certainty than home made dishes.
    (You told me that 2 years ago and you are still right today!)
    Perhaps you should do an instructable with more pictures.
    Thank You

    Yes, that soda bottle is concrete full, it weights approx 5 Kg. 

    Y will do an instructable maybe this year. My project is stagnant by many domestic matters. 

    You could put a picture on my ning group. they stay full size there.
    or on solarcooking http://solarcooking.wikia.com
    where it can get lots of views
    I can put it in either site if you email me the photo.
    with your name and details.