DUAL AXIS SOLAR TRACKER

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This is so popular that it’s even made available on the official arduino blogs DIY. Being a no brainer, This one actually teaches to to meddle with close soldering and a bit of electronics.

Dualaxis.jpg

WHY TRACK THE SUN?

It seems you can’t walk down the street these days without coming across a solar panel. You can find them lighting up crosswalk signs, mobile power for construction, as well as simple little sidewalk path lights. Solar is easy to use, readily available, and inexpensive.
So why aren’t we using it to power our homes?
For the most part our common every day solar cells run at an efficiency of 18-20%, meaning they convert 18-20% of the every they receive into electricity. While this is far better than the 3-6% efficiency that most green plants end up with, it doesn’t quite meet our power needs. To bring in enough power we either need to improve the efficiency of our panels or find ways of getting more from our current solar panels.
Every panel you see in your day to day life is in a fixed position, most likely facing south at a 45 degree angle. While this approach is extremely simple and meets the needs of most small applications, it isn’t producing as much energy as it could be.
The single most simple way of getting more energy out of a solar panel is to have it track the sun. In fact solar panels that track the sun create around 30% more energy per day than a fixed panel. With that kind of power increase you’d think everyone would be doing it, but there are some good reasons why it’s not overly common. First, the initial cost of setup is higher since it requires moving parts. Second, it also require maintenance and upkeep since they’d be exposed to outdoors conditions year round. Third, you’d need to power this equipment in order to keep it running and moving which then takes away from your output.
For most applications and home use, tracking is overkill. We typically don’t see tracking used unless it’s in large industrial power generation systems. Though that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own version at home.

The mounted servo motors along with body frame is available online in few robotics marts.

CODE BELOW :

#include 
//defining Servos
Servo servohori;
int servoh = 0;
int servohLimitHigh = 160;
int servohLimitLow = 20;

Servo servoverti; 
int servov = 0; 
int servovLimitHigh = 160;
int servovLimitLow = 20;
//Assigning LDRs
int ldrtopl = 2; //top left LDR green
int ldrtopr = 1; //top right LDR yellow
int ldrbotl = 3; // bottom left LDR blue
int ldrbotr = 0; // bottom right LDR orange

void setup () 
 {
 servohori.attach(10);
 servohori.write(0);
 servoverti.attach(9);
 servoverti.write(0);
 delay(500);
 }

void loop()
{
 servoh = servohori.read();
 servov = servoverti.read();
 //capturing analog values of each LDR
 int topl = analogRead(ldrtopl);
 int topr = analogRead(ldrtopr);
 int botl = analogRead(ldrbotl);
 int botr = analogRead(ldrbotr);
 // calculating average
 int avgtop = (topl + topr) / 2; //average of top LDRs
 int avgbot = (botl + botr) / 2; //average of bottom LDRs
 int avgleft = (topl + botl) / 2; //average of left LDRs
 int avgright = (topr + botr) / 2; //average of right LDRs

if (avgtop < avgbot)  {  servoverti.write(servov +1);  if (servov > servovLimitHigh) 
 { 
 servov = servovLimitHigh;
 }
 delay(10);
 }
 else if (avgbot < avgtop)
 {
 servoverti.write(servov -1);
 if (servov < servovLimitLow)  {  servov = servovLimitLow;  }  delay(10);  }  else   {  servoverti.write(servov);  }    if (avgleft > avgright)
 {
 servohori.write(servoh +1);
 if (servoh > servohLimitHigh)
 {
 servoh = servohLimitHigh;
 }
 delay(10);
 }
 else if (avgright > avgleft)
 {
 servohori.write(servoh -1);
 if (servoh < servohLimitLow)
 {
 servoh = servohLimitLow;
 }
delay(10);
 }
 else 
 {
servohori.write(servoh);
 }
 delay(50);
}

Other useful images below

Solar-Tracker-Arduinostepp

Thanks to Vijay Karthik on helping me with this.

 

 

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SHRINK IT TINY??? ATTINY 85

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If you have a simple Arduino project that uses only a few pins, you might be able to shrink it down to a single 8-pin ATtiny chip. In this blog, let’s see what can be done. The best part is you can use the same Arduino code and development environment that you’re already used to.

WhatsApp Image 2017-05-10 at 10.39.42 PM

Development Board

The ATtiny85 based mini development board is similar to the Arduino, but cheaper and smaller (ofcourse a bit less powerful). With a whole host of shields to extend its functionality and the ability to use the familiar Arduino IDE, this board is a great way to jump into microcontroller electronics.

  • Support for the Arduino IDE 1.0+ (OSX/Win/Linux)
  • Power via USB or External Source
  • Onboard 5V Regulator
  • Built-in USB
  • 6 I/O Pins
  • 8k Flash Memory (about 6k after bootloader)
  • I2C and SPI (vis USI)
  • PWM on 3 pins (more possible with Software PWM)
  • ADC on 4 pins
  • Power LED and Test/Status LED

Most often this tiny 85 is shipped fully assembled with pre-burned bootloader. As the bootloader already burned, on board LED will start to blink when power up, but you must install relevant driver before first programming. If you want to install or burn the bootloader using the UNO/MEGA, There are plenty of resources available on net which I don’t want to post it here and waste my time.

table

attiny85 pinout

POSSIBILTIES?

It is possible to drive relays or a H-BRIDGE motor, couple of leds, 433 Mhz transmitter, single sensor data nodes, Bluetooth connectivity and anything that has to do with RX,TX, With SPI, you can even add OLED display(But it” leave no room for GPIOS). The best part is it consumes very little power and you can run controller for month even on a button cell.

Hard to break it, It doesn’t support serial monitor when it is used as IC. However, I’m not really sure about this in the development board unit.

 

My encounter with religion.

Like every other human being, I too have wondered about religion at some point of life. Before you ask me “Do you believe in GOD”, I’d say I’m a believer of man created god than god created man. If you look closely, Its the best thing man has invented before money. I’d like to share my thoughts on religion through a a 19 year old common agnostic theist‘s view.

 

The two situations occur to almost every individual.  One, You happen to believe the presence of god someday. Two, You throw away all your stereotypes and think you’ve given up on life and say god doesn’t exist at all.

Its very similar to how you fall in love with the same person one day, You want them out of your life on another odd day. And the lesson of your life is taught somewhere between those two situations. With the world focussing on the communal riots, inter-religion marriages, and racist -terrorism activities, civil war, We fail to to realize the fundamental concept of religion. Religions are set of custom made themes created to suit your lifestyle. You have your own freedom to choose one of them. What do we need to keep us going? A certain hold on the pace of life, A little motivation when you’re down, A sense of fear that someone’s watching you, Certain right things that’s gonna keep you safe over a long run, A set of to-do list to make life complicated. Well, That’s what religion gives you in whole package which is too heavy to handle. And on top of everything, a little hope and faith to keep your head straight and believe everything you do is right. Let’s all thank religion for that.