Optimization Controller for Mechatronic Sun Tracking System to Improve Performance

Engin M. , Engin D.

ADVANCES IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, 2013 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Basım Tarihi: 2013
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1155/2013/146352


An embedded system that contains hardware and software was developed for two-axis solar tracking system to improve photovoltaic panel utilization. The hardware section of the embedded system consists of a 32-bit ARM core microcontroller, motor driver circuits, a motion control unit, pyranometer, GPS receiver, and an anemometer. The real-time control algorithm enables the solar tracker to operate automatically without external control as a stand-alone system, combining the advantages of the open-loop and the closed-loop control methods. The pyranometer is employed to continuously send radiation data to the controller if the measured radiation is above the lower radiation limit the photovoltaic panel can generate power, guaranteeing the solar tracking process to be highly efficient. The anemometer is utilized in the system to ensure that the solar tracking procedure halts under high wind speed conditions to protect the entire system. Latitude, longitude, altitude, date, and real-time clock data are provided by GPS receiver. The algorithm calculates solar time using astronomical equations with GPS data and converts it to pulse-width modulated motor control signal. The overall objective of this study is to develop a control algorithm that improves performance and reliability of the two-axis solar tracker, focusing on optimization of the controller board, drive hardware, and software.