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Nigerian Journal of Technology

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The Performance Characteristics of a Closed Loop, One Axis Electromechanical Solar Tracker

LU Anih, O Amah

Abstract


This paper presents a closed loop one axis solar tracking device of the polar axis type, which achieves an accurate tracking of the sun with a steady state error of less, than 2%. This prototype uses a photo-sensing system to generate an error signal. This error signal switches on a relay, which actuates an electromechanical transmission system that locks the aperture back into alignment with the solar image whenever there is any misalignment thereby enabling the device to constantly track the sun. The device is modeled according to the relevant physical, laws and operational requirements. The corresponding transfer function models, are generated and the system's stability is analyzed using MATLAB. A striking feature of the device is its simplicity, ease of construction, high precision and accurately predictable characteristics.




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