Author Topic: Heliostat Project  (Read 34804 times)

Gabriel

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Re: Heliostat Project
« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2009, 07:29:44 AM »
Hello helpmonkey, and welcome to the forums.

I don't know enough about electronics to be of any help there, but I have seen a couple of other people who have done something similar to what you are trying to do.

You might have already seen these, but, if not, here they are.
http://www.foundry.ray-vin.com/fusion/fusionstory.htm]
[url]http://www.foundry.ray-vin.com/fusion/fusionstory.htm
[/url]

http://www.heliostat.us/howitworks.htm


Both of those sites use a two axes system instead of a single axis.  Are you planning on making two single axis trackers for your heliostat? I think that would add a lot more capability. A single axis system would only really work well when the heliostat is aligned a specific way using a Polar Tracker setup. (Here's a Wikipedia link which explains the polar tracker some (scroll down). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_tracker)

A single axis system would work, but a couple downsides are that the target must be situated directly in front of the heliostat (in line with the tracker's axis) and that the heliostat's declination would have to be changed manually as the sun get's either higher or lower as the seasons change.

You might have already known all that, but I figured that I would say it anyway in case someone else is interested.

By the way, is the Greenwatts site yours?




J. Garcia

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Re: Heliostat Project
« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2013, 01:08:53 AM »
Well, I've made some progress.  I built a mock-up sun tracker that uses LED's as sensors. I used gears and a dc motor out of a junked printer and breadboarded a control circuit using a single BA6209. it is capable of driving the motor either direction depending on which pin goes high. It will follow my LED flashlight around the room and will track the sun. Bright sunlight has enough ambient light reflected that it makes the motor chatter all the time, so I'll either solve that with a hood or might need to interface it with a component with a threshold. I think if the sensors are mounted on the mirror assembly, it should work fine but I'd need a second one to control the Z axis. Getting tons of rain down here now though.

My Picaxe 18x w/ motor control kit arrived yesterday. I've assembled it, built a diy serial download cable, programmed it and have it working flashing LED's. Now it is just a matter of interfacing it to do something useful. Myriads of possibilities! 

I've downloaded PCB Artist (freeware) and gotten used to using it. Its autorouting is a great timesaver! Laid out and etched a board with two PBL3717A's on it that I think will control the X,Y and Z axis. The Picaxe will control this board. The RKeducation board came with an L293D on it but this board I made will be beefier I think.

So I'm making progress on two fronts.



I have made a 180 degree rotators and that is with some not used parts in the house.. It needed only one motor quite amusing thing..
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 07:22:27 PM by J. Garcia »


Brendan

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Re: Heliostat Project
« Reply #47 on: June 18, 2013, 06:25:42 AM »
Hi J,

I'm working on a single motor design also -- hope to release it to the wild in a month or two.  The goal is cost reduction but it comes at the price of a little complexity.  Good luck on your work.

Brendan

Gabriel

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Re: Heliostat Project
« Reply #48 on: June 25, 2013, 07:53:36 AM »
This topic is waaay old. It is safe to assume that everything I posted here is completely wrong and doesn't work.

I'm now marking it as closed so that it doesn't get bumped up to the top of the forum as new information.