Digital Angle Measurement for Rotating Solar Cells

In summary: You might be able to find a waterproof one for your setup.In summary, the conversation revolves around finding a digital device to measure the angle of a rotating device, specifically for aligning solar cells with the sun. The speaker initially tried using a fluxgate compass but found it inaccurate and slow. They are now looking for alternatives such as a rotary encoder or digital level, but face challenges due to the floating nature of the solar panels. A suggestion is made to use a waterproof potentiometer and calibrate it accordingly.
  • #1
4
0
I am looking for a digital device that is able to measure the angle of a rotating device.

It will be used to align rotating solar cells with the sun. These cells are attached to a flat panel, that is fixed in the center with an axis, so only circular movement is possible. The panel needs to rotate from East to West (approximately) to optimize energy production. The position of the sun can be calculated, but the position of the solar cells need to be measured.

I tried to use a fluxgate compass first, but this device is not accurate enough and needs to much time to stabilize.

So what I'm looking for is an alternative to measure the angle between the solar cells and the axis.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 
Engineering news on Phys.org
  • #2
It seems to me your options are a rotary encoder or digital level. I would use a rotary encoder and calibrate your zero with respect to whatever vertical or horizontal datum you want.
 
  • #3
Mech_Engineer said:
It seems to me your options are a rotary encoder or digital level. I would use a rotary encoder and calibrate your zero with respect to whatever vertical or horizontal datum you want.

Thanks for your reply.

I was thinking about this too at first. The problem is, the (fixed, in the ground) axis diameter is 0.3m and the solar panels are rotating around this axis. The panels are floating in water (the system is placed in a swimming pool), so the panels are sliding up and down a bit on the axis. This makes the attachment of a rotary encoder very difficult and fragile.
 
  • #4
How about a simple potentiometer? Calibrate your system to correlate a range of angular displacement to the change in resistance.
 

1. How does digital angle measurement work for rotating solar cells?

Digital angle measurement for rotating solar cells uses sensors and algorithms to measure the angle of the solar cell in relation to the sun. The sensors detect the position of the sun and the angle of the solar cell is calculated based on this information. This allows for precise tracking of the sun's movement and optimal positioning of the solar cell for maximum energy production.

2. What are the benefits of using digital angle measurement for rotating solar cells?

Digital angle measurement allows for more accurate and efficient tracking of the sun's movement, resulting in increased energy production from the solar cell. This can lead to higher energy output and cost savings for solar power systems. It also reduces the need for manual adjustment, making solar panel maintenance easier.

3. Is digital angle measurement necessary for rotating solar cells?

While not absolutely necessary, digital angle measurement can greatly improve the performance and efficiency of rotating solar cells. Without it, the solar cells may not be optimally positioned to capture the sun's rays, resulting in lower energy production and potential loss of revenue.

4. Can digital angle measurement be integrated into existing solar power systems?

Yes, digital angle measurement systems can be easily integrated into existing solar power systems. They can be added onto existing tracking systems or installed as separate components. However, it is important to ensure compatibility and proper installation to avoid any potential issues.

5. Are there any limitations or drawbacks to digital angle measurement for rotating solar cells?

One potential limitation is the initial cost of installing a digital angle measurement system, which may be higher than a manual tracking system. Additionally, these systems may require regular maintenance and calibration to ensure accurate readings. However, the benefits of increased energy production and efficiency typically outweigh these limitations in the long run.

Suggested for: Digital Angle Measurement for Rotating Solar Cells

Replies
14
Views
398
Replies
5
Views
1K
Replies
5
Views
844
Replies
8
Views
1K
Replies
11
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
981
Back
Top