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David Appleyard “Solar Trackers: Facing the Sun”, Renewable Energy World Magazine, UK: Ralph Boon, June 1, 2009.

has been cited by the following article:

Article

Design Optimization and Performance Evaluation of a Single Axis Solar Tracker

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maiduguri, PMB: 1069 Borno State, NIGERIA


Sustainable Energy. 2015, Vol. 3 No. 1, 9-13
DOI: 10.12691/rse-3-1-2
Copyright © 2015 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Mohammed Ben OUMAROU, Abdulrahim Abdulbaqi TOYIN, Fasiu Ajani OLUWOLE. Design Optimization and Performance Evaluation of a Single Axis Solar Tracker. Sustainable Energy. 2015; 3(1):9-13. doi: 10.12691/rse-3-1-2.

Correspondence to: Mohammed  Ben OUMAROU, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maiduguri, PMB: 1069 Borno State, NIGERIA. Email: mmbenomar@yahoo.com

Abstract

The paper presents the optimization in design, construction and performance test of a microcontroller-based, single axis solar panel tracking system, using locally available recoverable materials. The tracking system consists of two light sensors and an automated microcontroller to drive the motor and three batteries. Three parameters were considered: solar intensity, voltage and time of alignment/exposure of solar panel to solar radiation. Current and power were obtained and compared with those of a fixed axis solar panel of same specifications. The solar tracker provided a constant alignment, better orientation of the solar panel relative to the sun; and ensured production of more energy by capturing the maximum of sun rays hitting the surface of the panel from sunrise to sunset. The present study has shown that the solar tracking system could both be optimized in terms of design with a performance increment of 47.5% and cost. The solar tracking system is affordable and found to cost $ 154.00. It is also a sustainable energy solution which would assist in reducing both solid and liquid wastes as well as noise and air pollution.

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