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Solar Street Track Module


Man has needed and used energy at an increasing rate, for this sustenance
and well being, ever since he came on the earth. He was achieving this in many ways like,
eating animals and plants, by burning wood and other biomass for cooking and other
purpose, using winds for sailing ships and for driving wind mills and using force of falling
water to turn water wheels. All these energy are renewable as sun is driving them.
Solar energy is inexhaustible source of energy. The sun releases 380
million trillion kilowatt, (380 x 1023kW) of energy through fusion reaction, every second
of about 173 million kilowatt is intercepted by earth. About 1/3 of this energy is bounced
back as short wave radiation. The atmosphere, the land, and the oceans absorb about half.
About 1/6 is used in hydrological cycle i.e. evaporation, convection and precipitation. It
is here important to note that 400 x 106 tonnes of water is evaporated each year. A small
fraction 40 billion kW goes into photo-synthesis.
It is free and available in adequate quantities in almost all part of world,
where people live. So its utilization what we have to do is only collect it and store it and
make use of it where ever necessary.
However, there are many problems associates with its use. The main
problem is that it is dilute source of energy. Even in the hottest regions on earth the solar
radiation flux available rarely exceeds 1 kw/m2 which is low value for technological
utilization; consequently, large collection areas are required in many applications and
these results in excessive cost. It occurs seasonally because of the earth's orbit around the
sun. Consequently the energy collected when the sun is shining must be stored for use
during periods when it is not available. The real challenge in utilizing solar energy as an
alternative is of an economical nature one has to search for cheaper methods of collection
and storage to avoid the large initial investments required at present in most of the
application. Solar energy, on the other hand, shows promise of becoming a dependable
energy source without new the requirement of a highly technical and specialized nature

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Solar Street Track Module

for its wide spread utilization. In addition, there appears to be no significant polluting
effects form its use. It is environmental friendly.


The solar energy is being radiated continually from surface of the sun. The
temperature of radiating surface is estimated to be around 50000K. The fusion of light
atoms like hydraulic in the sun inner space at temperature of millions of degree produces
the energy which is being radiated from the surface. The fusion of light atoms is enable
by the very high pressure, temperature and density at the inner core of the sun. If the very
high temperature of the sun is directly available for utilisation thermal efficiency of
engines, which might use the energy will be in the limit almost 100%. But the energy is
degraded by transfer to lower temperature of the order of 50000 K. Even at this
temperature the thermal efficiency will be fairly height of the order 90%. However the
energy will be reaching the earth though at this high grade present the number of problems
utilisation with the high thermal efficiency.
The rate at which the solar energy incident on the earth is about 1 KW/m2
(an altitude above the atmosphere it is about 1.5kw/m2 ). Because of this low rate of
incident energy, and because of those high rates of energy loss to the surrounding from
any heated surface, it is found impossible to attend temperature higher than 1000c on
surface directly exposed to solar radiation.


1) This source of energy will be available upto the existence till the life of sun means;
it was estimated to be thousands of millions of year.
2) It is the unexploited resource of energy.
3) It is inexhaustible replinishable clean energy without any type of pollution, solar
energy is available at free of cost.

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Solar Street Track Module


Solar energy can be effectively utilized for many purposes. We have to
collect the energy sun and store it for various applications. With the help of this energy
and types of collectors and convertors, we have many air heating, water heating, solar
cooling, photovolatic power generation, solar thermal power generation, solar furnaces,
pumping, distillation, cooking and photo-synthesis in easier manner. Some of the
applications are discussed for study purpose as follows -
1) Solar Water Heater
2) Photo volatic power generation
Solar Photovoltaic Energy Source
The most useful way of harnessing solar energy is by directly converting it
into electricity by means of solar photo-voltaic cells. When sunshine is incident on solar
cells, they generate direct current (DC) electricity with out the involvement of any
mechanical generators, i.e. in this system of energy conversion there is direct conversion
of solar radiation into electricity. In it the stage of conversion into thermodynamic form is
absent. The photovoltaic effect is defined as the generation of an electro motive force as a
result of the absorption of tomzing radiation. Energy conversion devices which are used
to convert sunlight to electricity by the use of the photo-voltaic effect are called solar
Semiconductors are used for photo-volatic effect when photons from the
sun are absorbed in a semiconductor; they create free electrons with high energies than the
electrons which provide the bonding with the base crystal. Once these free electrons are
created. There must be an electric field to induce these high energy electrons to flow out
of the semiconductors to do useful work.
Following are some types of solar cells -
a) Silicon solar cell.
b) Cadmium cell.
c) Sulphide solar cell.
d) Gallion arsenide cells.

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Solar Street Track Module

Solar cell offer a potentially attractive means for direct conversion of

sunlight into electricity with high reliability and low maintenance as compared with solar
thermal system. The disadvantages are high cost and difficulty of storing large amounts of
electricity for lighter use.

Photovoltaic solar energy conversion is one of the most attractive non-
conventional energy sources of proven reliability form the micro to the mega-watt levels.

Keeping the above advantages in view, a work on the photovoltaic tracking
system was undertaken with the following objectives.
1) To design and fabricate a photovoltaic tracking system using stepper motor.
2) To test the working of the PV tracking system.
3) To test the whole system for different loads.

Various solar PV systems have been developed and installed at different
sites. The present work will help in designing solar photovoltaic tracking systems on a
small scale, efficiently for the following applications.
i) Water pumping sets for micro irrigation and drinking water supply.
ii) Community radio and television sets.
iii) Battery charging
iv) Street light etc.

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a) These require less space.
b) Its features such as light weight, less surface area suits this specific application of
c) It is highly efficient in energy conversion.
d) It is easy to maintenance.
e) It is very compact.
f) It does not discharge any emission or waste product.


Distributed nature of Solar energy.
a) These are relatively costly and may cost as high as Rs.200/w
b) It does not suit high power applications.
c) Storage battery is a most which increases overall cost of unit.

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Solar Street Track Module


PV comes in many flavors, though the bulk of the material in use today is
silicon-based. In general, PV materials are categorized as either thick crystalline (sliced
from boules or castings, or grown ribbons) or thin film (deposited in thin layers on a
substrate) polycrystalline or amorphous. The following is information on the materials and
technologies with application to photovoltaics.

Thick Crystalline Materials

Crystalline Silicon
Single-crystal silicon--Sliced from single-crystal boules of grown silicon,
these wafers/cells are now cut as thin as 200 microns. Research cells have reached nearly
24-percent efficiency, with commercial modules of single-crystal cells exceeding 15-
Multicrystalline silicon--Sliced from blocks of cast silicon, these
wafers/cells are both less expensive to manufacture and less efficient than single-crystal
silicon cells. Research cells approach 18-percent efficiency, and commercial modules
approach 14-percent efficiency.
Edge-defined film-fed growth ribbons--Nearly single-crystal silicon
ribbons grown from a crucible of molten silicon, drawn by capillary action between the
faces of a graphite die.
Dendritic web--A film of single-crystal silicon pulled from a crucible of
molten silicon, like a soap bubble, between two crystal dendrites.
Gallium Arsenide (GaAs)
A III-V semiconductor material from which high-efficiency photovoltaic
cells are made, often used in concentrator systems and space power systems. Research cell
efficiencies greater than 25 percent under 1-sun conditions, and nearly 28 percent under
concentrated sunlight. Multijunction cells based on GaAs and related III-V alloys have
exceeded 30-percent efficiency.

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Solar Street Track Module

Thin-Film Materials

Amorphous Silicon (a-Si)

A non-crystalline form of silcon, first used in photovoltaic materials in
1974. In 1996, amorphous silicon constituted more than 15 percent of the worldwide PV
production. Small experimental a-Si modules have exceeded 10-percent efficiency, with
commercial modules in the 5-7-percent range. Used mostly in consumer products, a-Si
technology holds great promise in building-integrated systems, replacing tinted glass with
semi-transparent modules.
Cadmium Telluride (CdTe)
A thin-film polycrystalline material, deposited by electrodeposition,
spraying, and high-rate evaporation, holds the promise of low-cost production. Small
laboratory devices approach 16-percent efficiency, with commercial-sized modules (7200-
cm2) measured at 8.34-percent (NREL-measured total-area) efficiency and production
modules at approximately 7 percent.
Copper Indium Diselenide (CuInSe2, or CIS)
A thin-film polycrystalline material, which has reached a research
efficiency of 17.7 percent, in 1996, with a prototype power module reaching 10.2 percent.
The difficulty in taking this technology to a production level lies in the difficulty in
avoiding the formation of defects during deposition that prevent the formation of uniform


Concentrator systems use lenses or reflectors to focus sunlight onto the

solar cells or modules. Lenses, with concentration ratios of 10x to 500x, typically Fresnel
linear-focus or point-focus lenses, are most often made of an inexpensive plastic material
engineered with refracting features that direct the sunlight onto a small or narrow area of
cells. The cells are usually silicon. GaAs cells and other materials would have higher
conversion efficiencies, and could operate at higher temperatures, but they are often

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Solar Street Track Module

substantially more expensive. Module efficiency can range upwards from 17%, and
concentrator cells have been designed with conversion efficiencies in excess of 30%.
Reflectors can be used to augment power output, increasing the intensity of
light on modules, or to extend the time that sufficient light falls on the modules.
Concentrator system lenses are unable to focus scattered light, limiting
their use to areas, like desert areas, with a substantial number of cloudless days on an
annual basis.


PV is used worldwide in many applications, from niche markets in

developed countries to primary village power in rural economies and developing
countries. The following links will provide information on some of the major applications
areas where PV plays, or will play, a major role.
Remote Residential
Around the world, there are more than 100,000 off-grid residential PV
systems, as of 1996, including tens of thousands of vacation homes in Scandanavia. These
systems, typically from one module to one kilowatt, comprise the PV modules, batteries,
charge controllers, and assorted loads (lights, radio/TV, refrigerator).
Village Power
In developing economies, there are hundreds of thousands of villages that
currently have no access to electric power or that use diesel generators, which are
expensive to fuel, difficult to maintain, and environmentally harmful. PV village power
systems provide electricity for domestic, community, or industrial activities. PV can also
be used with diesel generators as part of hybrid systems.

General Stand-Alone Systems (Lighting, Cathodic Protection, etc.)

Photovoltaic systems can supply electricity in areas where there is no
electric grid, or where connecting to that grid would be too expensive.

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Solar Street Track Module

Water pumping: PV systems can replace hand pumps or large engine-powered water
pumping systems. In many pumping systems, no batteries are required, as the pumped
water storage provides that function.
Cathodic protection: Metal corrosion causes damage to pipes, tanks, well heads, wharves,
bridges, and buildings. PV-generated electricity prevents electrolytic corrosion of such
Communications: PV systems have been powering remote communications systems, such
as microwave repeaters, television and radio transmitters and receivers, telephone
systems, and small radios, since the mid 1960s. These systems provide reliable, low-
maintenance power for these remote systems.
Lighting and small appliances: PV can be used to light homes, operate TVs and radios, or
power street lights. In the developing world, improving indoor lighting allows small
industry to expand, replacing kerosene lanterns and improving indoor air quality.

Building-Integrated PV (BIPV)
Integrating PV into building structures holds the promise of extensive
market penetration in developed countries, replacing conventional facade and roofing
materials and avoiding the cost of support structures. These systems include crystalline
modules integrated into roofing systems and used as 'eyebrows' over windows, and glass-
on-glass modules used in skylights and view walls; and amorphous silicon modules, both
opaque and semi-transparent, used in curtin wall systems.

Utility Systems
Utilities are using PV in many applications, including large centralized
generation, transmission and distribution support, demand-side management, distributed
residential and commercial systems, and remote, stand-alone monitoring systems.
Demand-side management (DSM) systems have particular value because they produce
power for the grid at the times of the utility's peak demand (when power is the most

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Solar Street Track Module

Transmission and distribution support has value because utilities can install
PV near substations or at the end of overloaded lines, eliminating or delaying the need for
costly upgrades.

Hybrid Power Systems

Hybrid systems typically include some combination of PV, wind, and
diesel generators, along with controlling electronics and battery storage. The reasons for
these systems include making maximum use of the available resources (wind and sun),
serving critical loads (telemetry and communications), and supplementing existing
equipment (reducing the duty cycle of an existing diesel generator).

Consumer Product Power

Most solar-powered consumer products (calculators, etc.) use very small
amorphous silicon PV devices to provide the power necessary for their operations.

Space Power Systems

Photovoltaic systems have been used to power satellites and space probes
since the Vanguard I launch in 1958. The critical issues in space power systems are weight
and reliability: weight, because of the high cost of boosting equipment into space; and
reliability, because servicing a system is difficult (impossible, until recently) and
expensive. Because these issues are more important than cost, the technologies are
typically more exotic than those used in terrestrial systems.


A solar collector is a device which is used to convert energy or which helps
to convert solar energy into useful form.
These are mainly of two types.

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Solar Street Track Module

i) Flat Plate Collectors -

It is generally a flat plate surface with a high absorptivity for solar
radiation. Its basic configuration is an shown in figure. A metal plate coated with black
color is used as a absorbing surface. Heat is transferred from plate to fluid passing
through tubes. Insulating layer of insulation material is used to prevent heat conduction.
The whole configuration is made to absorb maximum losses.
Its sub types are as :
a) Evaculed collectors
b) Honeycomb type collectors
c) Thermal trap type collectors
d) Double exposure flat plate collectors
e) Back liquid flat plate collectors
f) Packed bed collectors.
ii) Concentrating Collector -
This is used where more temperature is required for a particular
application. In this method concentrator may be used to increase the flux at the absorber
of solar collector. This is achieved by using reflecting mirrors or refracting elements.
Its types are as :
a) Plane reflector plane receiver type collector.
b) Cylindrical reflector and cylindrical receiver type collector
c) Parabolic type collector
d) Compound parabolic concentrator type collector
e) Fresnel reflector type collector.
Direct conversion of solar energy is achieved by using solar cells. These
devices directly convert sun lights into D.C. power without any much discharging
products. These are relatively very simple in construction easy in maintenance as shown
in figure, but are relatively costly. These produce energy directly but relatively using high
surface area for light exposure.

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Solar Street Track Module

Semiconductors are used for photo-voltaic effect when photons from sun
rays are absorbed in semiconductor material of collector, these creates free electrons with
high energies than electrons providing binding forces with base crystal. The free electrons
are created which flows and produces an electric field which produces electricity.
The figure showing the working principle behind energy conversion
mechanism is as shown in figure is a one cell like which many cells are internally silver
soldered on base crystal plate. The number of cells depends on amount of energy
The cells is actually a big diode which is constructed using a PN junction
between appropriately closed. Semiconductors photons from sun rays directly strike the
thin P-layer shown as "a" in the figure. These photons are absorbed by electrons in the
underneath N-layer. Thus results in a potential difference between the two i.e. P-N layer
of semiconductor materials.
The output voltage is the only function of semiconductor cell material and
solar intensity of radiation to which it is exposed.
The solar cells operate on semi-conductor theory of materials. Research
has coped up with various new and efficient materials for energy generation. The mostly
used materials for solar cells are -
a) Silicon solar cell
b) cadmium solar cell
c) Sulphide solar cell
d) Galium arcenide solar cell
a) Silicon solar cell :-
Solar cells made of silicon single crystal are commonly used as its
theoretical efficiency is 24% but actual efficiency is 10 to 12%. The raw material used is
high purity silicon material which costs near about Rs.500/- kg. The Single crystal silicon
arrays are fabricated by hand. After single large crystal a molten material, the cylinder is

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drawn into thin wafers. The thin wafers are further chemically treated and polished.
Their useful life is about 15 to 20 years.
Figure shows the panel assembly. The design parameters of panel are
mainly as follows which affect the collector panel performance.
1) Power for application.
2) Angle of latitude.
3) Average power intensity for locality.
4) Angle of incidence depending on time of day.
5) Area of collector directly exposed to sun rays.
6) Season of the year i.e. weather conditions.
7) Miscellaneous factors.
i) Type of solar panel
ii) Cell material
iii) No. of cells
iv) Theoretical design radiation intensity.
v) Design temperature.
vi) Maximum power.
vii) Maximum output voltage.
viii) Type of current.
ix) Area of panel.
x) Type of frame.
xi) Soldering material for internal cell soldering.

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Solar Street Track Module



In one year alone, SOL® installed more

commercial-grade solar outdoor lights than all of
its competitors combined since the day they
started in business.

SOL® lights are installed on six continents.

All of the world's largest solar outdoor light

installations are by Solar Outdoor Lighting, Inc.

SOL® has the longest guarantees, the most

reliable service, and the best prices in the


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Solar Street Track Module

The key to solar outdoor lighting is the solar power park, which houses
photovoltaic solar panels, a proprietary microprocessor control system and batteries. It is
attached to specifically designed lights having super reflectivity and high energy ballasts.

Dependable - Efficient - Affordable

The economic and environmental advantages of solar energy are more

widely recognized every day. Solar Outdoor Lighting, Inc. (SOL®) is the premier
manufacturer of ultra reliable solar powered lights. We have delivered millions of hours of
dependable light in thousands of lighting systems used in every environment.

How does solar power work ?

In principle, it's simple. A solar panel converts light to electricity. During

daylight, even on cloudy days, this solar generator (solar panel) charges long-life batteries,
which store the energy until it is needed. Thus, the energy of the sun is harnessed to
produce power.

In practice, of course, solar outdoor lighting is a bit more complex. In

addition to large-capacity batteries and solar panels, the system also incorporates
sophisticated proprietary charge regulators, which stop the flow of solar generated

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Solar Street Track Module

electricity when the batteries are fully charged, and then resume charging when more
power is needed.

How dependable is a solar powered lighting ?

For one thing, it's never too cloudy to collect solar energy. In fact, if there's
enough sunlight to see reasonably well, there's enough to collect and store energy even if
it's raining. The typical SOL® system can store enough energy to operate for as long as
five consecutive days without sun.

What's more, solar powered outdoor lighting is virtually maintenance free,

because the batteries require no water or other regular service. Unlike some systems that
are assembled from "off-the-shelf" parts not designed for solar service, SOL® systems are
assembled from components specifically designed for solar lighting. The solar panel itself
is backed by a 20-year warranty, the strongest in the industry. In addition to the individual
parts, the entire system is thoroughly tested and UL Listed. Only SOL®'s system is UL

Why do customer prefer solar ?

SOL® systems provide unmatched convenience, reliability and efficiency.

Each SOL® light has its own "power plant"- a solar panel energized by the sun, so you do
not depend on faraway generating stations, transmission lines, substations, switches and
transformers. Since each solar electric light operates autonomously, every light is
programmed through its own control system, to turn on and off as needed. And, in the
unlikely event that an individual solar outdoor light fails, no other lights are affected.
Solar systems outperform traditional wired systems hands-down. In a solar
installation, initial costs are incurred for the self-contained energy collecting and storage
system. But after that, the energy itself is free! When compared to the traditional system's

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Solar Street Track Module

costs for cable, trenching, metering equipment and construction, plus electric bills
continuing forever, the solar system's cost advantages can be dramatic and immediate.



A Cost-Effective Solution for Street Lighting

100% Powered by the Sun.

Unsurpassed Reliability
Sold worldwide - with no outstanding warranty claims.

Unsurpassed Durability
Patented design gives the most resistance to wind possible. Survived hurricanes.

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Maintenance Free Gel Batteries

So safe they can be shipped fully charged.

Meets National Electrical Code

The only UL® listed solar lighting system.

Easy to Install
Mounts on any type of pole.

Will light even after cloudy days

No maintenance battery back-up.

Meets IES Standards

Uses high frequency fired fluorescents or low pressure sodium lamps with super efficient
Max-Lite reflector.

Environmentally Friendly
Solar panels reduce fossil fuel consumption, eliminating pollution.

Self-Contained System
No wiring! No delays!
No trenching through existing roads, sidewalks or landscaping.
No routine maintenance.
No Transformers! No Meters!
No electric bills.

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Solar Street Track Module

Customers Include:
Local, State, and Federal Governments
Homeowner Associations
Transit Authorities
Colleges and Universities

General Description

The patented SolarPal® Safety Streetlight is a commercial quality, solar

powered lighting system for residential streets, parking lots and area security lighting. It is
also effective for any troublesome "dark spot" - rural areas, farms, storage facilities.

System Operation

Solar panels absorb the sun's rays, even on overcast days, converting them
to electricity. The electricity is stored in batteries. A small proprietary microprocessor
controls the functions of the system. It acts as a photocell, turning the light on at dusk; it is
a timer, regulating the hours the light stays on; it regulates the battery, preventing
overcharging and protecting against discharging. The standard system is designed to
operate for at least 5 consecutive days without sunlight.

Testing, Quality Control & Quality

All products are tested in the Solar Outdoor Lighting research facility
before delivery. Furthermore, field tests have been performed by Underwriters
Laboratories, United States National Laboratories, and independent universities. All of
these inspections assure customers they are buying the most reliable commercial solar

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lighting available. The warranty, including a 20 year solar panel power guarantee by BP
Solar®, is the strongest in the industry. SOL, where value is built in before the name goes

Simple Payback Analysis

How long will it take to recover your investment in solar-powered

technology? Here are some points to consider when comparing solar to the traditional
electric lighting system:

1. Cost to run wire from grid.

2. Cost of trenching or tunneling.
3. Cost of replacing concrete, asphalt, or landscaping.
4. Cost of transformers and meters to be added.
5. Savings from credits for state and federal taxes.
6. No monthly electric bills.

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Solar Street Track Module


In this chapter literature related to solar energy, solar cell,
photovoltaic system, tracking system, stepper motor etc. are reviewed.
Solar Energy
Sayigh (1991) stated that, the earth receives form the sun at the rate of 1016
kJ per minute and since the sun shines for an average of 12 hrs per day. Assuming that we
can utilize one per cent of this energy, which is equivalent to 1.65 x 107 times the
projected amount of the whole world energy requirement in the year 2094 A.D.
Rai (1991) stated that, on an average 5kW/m2 per day solar energy is
falling on the total land area of India for over 300 days per annum; in certain areas the
bright sunny days may be more. Even if one per cent of this land is used to harness solar
energy for electricity generation of an over all efficiency of ten percent 492 x
109kWh/year electricity can be generated.
According to Mosolam (1987), PV systems are capable of transforming
1kW of solar energy falling on 1 meter square area in to about 1 kW of electricity. Thus
solar PV conversion into electricity is abundant, inexhaustible and clean.
Solar Photovoltaics
Solar photovoltaic system
Wall (1976) stated that, the silicon cell is firmly established as the mainstay
of space power and will continue to fulfill this role. Considerable development effort can
be expected to be spent on cost reduction to open large terrestrial markets for solar cells.
The calcium sulphide thin film cells is a strong contender for the terrestrial solar cell
market. It has the potential of reaching the cost goals more easily than the silicon cell.
However, it will first have to be fully established that the reliability and operating life of
the cadmium sulphide thin film cells are adequate.
Green (1982) established that, in any photovoltaic system, components
other than the solar cells alone are required in all but a few applications. A photovoltaic

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system may involve the cells, energy storage, power conditioning and control equipment
and backup generator. The major item of power conditioning equipment is generally an
inverter to convert the dc output of cells and battery storage to the alternating form, often
required by the load.
Mathematical considerations (tilt angle)
Chau (1982) and, Tsalides and than as Thanailakis (1986) evaluated
optimum tilt angles for various latitudes for all 12 months of the year. Chau suggested tilt
correction (TC) for latitude. He also expressed that tilting the collector perpendicular to
the sun's rays at solar noon might be an easier guideline to remember and follow either
visually or by the equation,
Tilt angle = 900 - Latitude + Declination
According to Tsalide (1984), the direct determination of the optimum tilt
angle of solar photovoltaic arrays, taking into account the latitude of the place, the local
climatological and insolation conditions and the orientation of the photovoltaic arrays for
the azimuthal angle in the range from 00 to ±600, studied were found always to be greater
than the latitude of the site by about 40% - 60% and to by constant for azimuthal angle of
upto ± 300.

Mosher et al. (1977) stated that, after comparing the experimental results of
power output of a sun tracking solar cell with that of a stationary solar cell, the tracking
cell was found to produce 30% more electrical energy in the course of a relatively clear
day than will the stationary cell.
Naima and Yaghobian (1990) stated that, an ideal tracker which followed
the sun north-south and east-west was designed and constructed. It was possible to
amount a photo-voltaic array of operation area 2m2. The performance of the tracking
system was studied with photovoltaic array mounted on it and tracker error of less than
one degree was achieved.

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Tracking System
William et al. (1990), established that, there are three general categories of
sun trackers
I) Passive
II) Micro-processor controlled
III) Electro-optically controlled units
Rumala (1986), used an automatic method of sun tracking that used back-
to-back semi-cylinders to mask solar irradiation.
A pair of back-to-back semi-cylinders were arranged in an East-West
facing and North-South facing configuration on a tracking platform the E-W and N-S
facing shades were configured such that the axis of each semi-cylinder were perpendicular
to the tracking platform. Photovoltaic resistors placed on the platform along the axis of
each of the four semi-cylinders, with plane of the sensing faces up with respect to the
platform and perpendicular to the pertinent collector was mounted rigidly on the tracking
platform with the 'collecting' face 'up' and 'parallel' with respect to the platform.
Hession and Bonwick (1984) stated that, sun position sensing was
sucdessfully performed using photo-transistors mounted in a simple structure. Some
problems associated with this technique were successfully overcome and mentioned. An
electrical circuit block diagram with description is given as will as the tracking systems
performance when connected to a 2.34 m2 cylindrical parabolic collector. With this
arrangement, the tracker consumers approximately IW of electrical power, which as
supplied by a small panel of solar cells with a rechargeable battery as a back-up and night
time supply.
Salameh and Taylor (1990) established that, a new maximum power point
is tracker (MPPT) had been devised and tested. The MPPT was a high frequency set-up
de-to-dc power conditioning unit. simple and inexpensive analog circuitry was used to
continually maximize the true PV array output power rather then maximizing the current
or voltage at either the PV array or load. The control circuit was designed such that the
actual current and voltage were sensed directly from the PV array.

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Ganesan (1993) established that, an automatic drurnal tracking device for

solar PV panel has been development. It consists of electrical pulses at a frequency of 30
per minute. These pulses were used to drive 12V relays and a ratchet and pawl to produce
a rotary motion. Using a suitably designed gear box this motion was transmitted to the PV
panel. The whole unit was powered by a rechargeable lead acid battery with provision for
recharging using the panel itself. It was fitted to a 2.46 x 2.03 m panel weighing 100 kg
and it operated successfully. It was found that the net usable power by PV panel increased
by as much as 30% due to tracking.
Kalogirou (1996) stated that, a tracking system can be used with single axis
solar concentrating system. The position and status of the sun were detected by three light
dependent resistors (LDR's), one detected whether the collector was focussed, the second
resistor determined if there was a cloud cover, and the third sensed whether it was day or
night. The resultant signals were fed to an electronic control system, which rotated the
collector via a speed reduction gearbox. The tracking system accuracy depended on the
magnitude of the solar irradiance. The deviation of 100 and 600 W/m2, respectively was
found. Both values suggested that the mechanism can be used satisfactorily for parabolic
trough collectors of medium to high concentration ratios. These two signals are then
multiplied by a single chip multiplier. The multiplier output, charges or discharges two
separate RC circuits of different time constants. These two RC signals are then mixed to
set the duty cycle of a pulse width modulated signal to continually track the array
maximum power point.
Salameh et al. (1991) designed a simple, inexpensive, and efficient
maximum power point tracker (MPPT). This design called for a fixed voltage and a pilot
cell to tracka the maximum power point voltage (Vmp). The tracking was done by
changing the duty cycle of a step-down chopper, which is controlled by a direct feedback
analog circuit. The control voltage of tracker is the open circuit voltage of the pilot cell
multipied by a constant. This constant is preadjusted so that it tracks the V mp of the
array in response to any changes due to temperature or insolation. This MPPT can also
function as a voltage regulator for battery charging.

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Solar Street Track Module

William et al (1990) designed a sun tracker which uses two electro-optic

sensors and a small low-cost electronic control circuit. One sensor is for cell pyramid
which is mounted on the tracker plane. The second is a sunlight beam sensor, which is
faced facing south. The control circuit tracking maximizes wandering on partially
overcast days. It will never make multiple revolutions or face down to towards the
Madansure et al., (1995) stated that, the application of PV power in
systems involving intermittent loading requires an understanding of the dynamics of such
systems. The paper presented by them explored the said area by taking the vegetable
slicing system as a typical example of intermittent loading. The bond graph methodology
had been used in modeling. It was the first time that the bond graph method was applied
to study the dynamics of PV driven systems and it was a convenient tool in formulating
dynamic models of electromechanical machinery. The results obtained by computer
simulation were also reported by them.
Naiwad, et al. (1997), developed a microprocessor-based maximum solar
energy tracker, which incorporated only the voltage variable for maximum power transfer
this approach enhanced the performance of SPV system. As the paraameters governing
SPV systems are highly stochastic and weather dependent, there was a great scope. For
computer techniques in developing energy efficienet, precise and reliable SPV systems.
Utility of some of the techniques like neural networ,, fuzzy logic, adaptive digital signal
processing and bond graph techniques for energy efficient and economic operation of
Integrated/Hybrid SPV systems were also put forward.
Kharche (1997) designed and fabricated an electronically controlled sun
tracking system using LDR's and motor drive, for a photovoltaic module. Experimental
set-up was instalaled in the college of Agril. Engg. & Tech. Dr. PDKV, Akola of latitude
20.420 N and longitude 70.020E. Experiments were performed to compare the
performance, of solar PV module with and without tracker. Also the break up cost of the
solar tracking unit was calculated and it was Rs.1090/-. It was also observed that the
performance of the tracker was excellent.

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Solar Street Track Module

According to Basu et al. (1988), a microprocessor controlled single axis

sun tracker using stepper motor drives for a photovoltaic system was designed, developed
and fabricated. The most common technique of sun tracking was to sense and follow
instantaneously the direction of the maximum light coming from the sun. This mode of
tracking ran into the problem of fetching the sun in the diffused radiation condition. In the
presented work, the pre-calculated position of the sun throughout the year. The other axis
of rotation which was perpendicular to the equatorial axis and took care of seasonal
movement of the sun was adjusted manually, since it was required to be done only once a
day. Experiments had been performed to compare the performance of flat plate solar cell
module with and without the tracker. It was observed that the performance of the tracker
was excellent.
Stepper Motor
According to Fitzgerald et al. (1971), the stepper motor was a form of
synchronus motor which was designed to rotate a specific number of degrees for each
electrical pulse received by its control unit. Typical steps were 7.5 0 and 150 per pulse.
They also stated that the stepper motor was used in digital control systems, where the
motor received open loop commands as a train of pulses to turn a shaft or move a plate by
a specific distance.
Ram (1993) stated that, in the interfacing connections for a stepper motor,
(fig 2.1) a voltage supply was used to energize the poles of the stepper motor. The pulses
sent by a microprocessor switched on the rated voltage to the windings of the desired
poles. A delay subroutine was incorporated in the program. After energizing one set of
pole windings some delay was provided, then the power supply was switched on to the
other set of pole windings. This delay time governed the speed of the motor.
From the literature cited above, it reveals that still there is a scope to work
on tracking systems using stepper motor for smaller scale systems.

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Solar Street Track Module



This chapter deals with the functional design of the tracking unit. The details of the
mechanical transforming unit and electronic and electrical control unit used are also given.
Functional Description
In the tracking of a photovoltaic panel using a stepper motor, the motor
turns the plane of the panel in such a way that the sun's rays will be directly perpendicular
to the plane of the panel throughout the day. The motor turns the panel with the help of
the mechanical transmission system.
The stepper motor is driven by pulses. The pulses generated depend on the
intensity of light that falls on the light dependent resistors (LDR). With the help of certain
IC's and transistors the drive is given to the stepper motor. This is known as the driver
circuit. The driver circuit is fed from the amplifier and to this signals are provided form
the comparator and sensor circuit.
List of Different Components Used In The Tracking System :
(I) Supporting unit for module
(1) Stand
(2) Half circular pipe
(3) Clamp
(4) Shaft
(II) Mechanical Power Transforming Unit
(1) Half circular gear.
(2) Shaft with gear, with one side having splined gear.
(III) Electronic and electrical unit
(1) Printed circuit boards with integrated circuit chips.
(2) Stepper motor.

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Solar Street Track Module

(3) Capacitors.
Stepper Motor
The motor used in the tracking system was a 4 pole stepper motor. The
shaft of the motor moved in steps of 2".
Electrical and electronic circuit
The electrical unit consisted of the power supply regulator, steppes motor,
comparator and driving unit etc.
Power supply regulator
The function of the power supply regulator was to bring down the voltage
of 21V which was generated by the PV module to two voltages of 12V and 5V
The power supply regulator consisted four condensers of 100µf/16V and
two 220µf/16V specification respectively and two integrated circuits chips (IC 1.7812 and
ICL 7805). The condensers were used to filter the voltage between different points.
The IC L.7812 and IC L7805 were used to bring about a voltage of 12V
and 5V volts respectively.
The use of this unit was to bring down the voltage of 21V. If 21V is
directly fed to the electronic unit then, damages could occur in the components of the
electronic unit due to the high voltage.
Stepper motor
The stepper motor is a form of synchronous motor which is designed to
locate a specific number of degrees for each electrical pulse received by its control unit.
The stepper motor receives commands as train of pulses to turn a shaft.
Stepper motors are usually designed with a multi-pole, multiphase stator
winding that is not unlike the windings of conventional machines. They use three phase
and four phase windings with the number of poles determined by the required angular
change per input pulse. The rotors are either of the variable reluctance type or the
permanent magnet type. Stepper motors operate with an external drive logic circuit, as a
train of pulses is applied to the input of the drive circuit, the circuit delivers appropriate

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Solar Street Track Module

currents to the stator windings of the motor to make the axis of the air-gap field step
around in coincidence with the input pulses. Depending upon the pulse rate and the load
torque, including inertia effects, the rotor follows the axis of the air-gap magnetic field by
virtue of the reluctance torque and/or the permanent magnet torque.
To explain the operating principle of a permanent magnet type stepper
motor, a four-pole stator and a rotor made of six permanent poles are shown in figure 3.1.
The stator is made of laminated soft iron. The stator windings are energized by pulses.
The motor has four phase excitation as there are four poles on the stator. Each pole has
two coils wound in the opposite sense so that the pole can be made either a north pole or a
south pole as desired by applying appropriate pulse to one of the coils. If the pole A is
made a north pole, the pole C is made a south pole. The permanent south pole no 1 of the
rotor will stand just below pole A of the stator. To give a clockwise motion, the supply of
pole A and C is switched off and the pole B is made a north pole. In the next step the pole
C is made a N pole and A as s-pole. After this D is made a S-pole and B a N-pole. Again
the pole A is made a N-pole and C a S-pole and the whole sequence is repeated. In this
order, poles are energized to give a clockwise rotation. To rotate the rotor anti-clockwise,
after making A pole a N-pole and B pole a S-pole, D is made S-pole and B a N-pole.
For the present study the stepper motor that was used consisted of four
poles having a step angle of 2".
The advantage of using a stepper motor is its low cost and its small size.
The rating of the stepper motor used in the study was 1.2A and 5V. Hence the power
consumed by the motor was also considerably low.

Light dependent resistance (LDR)

Two light dependent resistors were used. There were placed apart on end
of the panel. The LDR works on the principle that as the intensity of light falling on the
LDR increases, the resistance of the LDR decreases.

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Solar Street Track Module

Transistor drive unit

A total of eight transistors were used to give the drive to the stepper motor.
All of them were the n-p-n type. Four were of 2N2222A and the other four of KSP2222A
specification. The connections between these transistors can be clearly seen in the figure
3.2. Each of the KSP2222A transistors emitters were connected to the bases of each of the
2N 2222 transistors.
There were also other resistors and capacitors used in the circuit as shown
in figure 3.2. All these electrical components were put on the printed circuit board (PCB).
While doing the soldering operation for putting the components on the PCB, after every
soldering, a wet cloth was made to cover the soldered part for a few seconds. This was
done as a precaution to prevent damage, to the various electronic components which are
very sensitive to high temperatures.
The various components of the PV tracking system were, the frame-work
(or supporting unit), the electronic unit and the electrical unit.
The supporting unit for the PV module consisted of,
i) Stand,
ii) Half circular pipe
iii) Bearings
iv) Clamp
v) Shaft.

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Solar Street Track Module

Details of the above parts are given in the Table

Table : Details of parts of tracking system
S.No. Particular Description Quantity
1. Stand Material of construction G.I pipe and -
angle pipe diameter=5.5cm,
Length 8.5cm.
2. Half circular pipe Material of construction G.I.pipe, -
pipe diameter 1.5cm.
3. Bearing Ball bearing type (NMB 62022) 2
4. Clamp Material of construction mild steel. 2
5- Shaft Material of construction mild steel, 2
diameter of shaft = 5.5 cm.

The stand was made of a heavy material ( G.I. and mild steel ) so that it
offered a rigid support to the module. Hence the module was safe against the destructive
forces of wind velocity and other unforseen disturbances. The half-circular pipe was used
for adjusting the tilt angle. For the present study the tilt angle was set at to 10".
The module used for tracking had the following specifications.
Solar photovoltaic module L 1235.
Open circuit voltage 2 1 V
Short circuit current = 2.4A.
Dimensions 1015 x 408 x 40 mm.
The module is shown in Plate 1. Considering these dimensions the
framework was fabricated.
Electrical circuit
The connections of the electrical circuit were made. The voltage generated
by the photovoltaic panel varied form 13V-21V throughout the day depending on the
intensity of the solar radiation incident on the panel. The electrical circuit was used to
convert this voltage generated by the panel into 12V and 5V respectively. The 5V output
was connected to the terminals of the stepper motor, which in turn turned the panel, using
gear mechanism.

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Solar Street Track Module

Window comparator and LDR

A small length of PVC pipe of radius just a little larger than the maximum
length of LDR was chosen and one of its ends was closed. The LDR was placed at the
closed bottom end of the PVC pipe. Thus the window comparator was fabricated.
Next, the vertical indicators were fixed permanently near the centre of
either of the shorter sides of the panel at the edge as shown in plate no 1. These indicators
were used to check whether the plane of the panel was perpendicular to the sun's rays of
light. It was also used to fix the tilt angle of the panel for that season. If there is no
shadow falling by any side of the indicator on the panel, then this showed that the tilt
angle and the plane of the panel with respect to the sun was in such a way that the panel
received maximum solar radiation.
Hence using these vertical indicators the inclination of the window
comparators were fixed, and the window comparators with LDR were fixed permanently
on one edge of the panel as shown in plate 1.

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Solar Street Track Module



This chapter deals with the testing of the tracking system in relation to the
current-voltage output form the panel to the electrical and electronic circuits.
Observations on the Electronic Circuits
The PV module was placed in the open for different days & different
readings were taken. Following instrument were used to aid in taking down of readings.
(a) Cathode ray oscilloscope (CRO)
(b) Digital photo type tachometer
(c) Digital lux-meter
(d) Digital multimeter
The specifications of the instruments is given in Appendix-A. The above
mentioned instruments are shown in Plate 4.
Testing of Tracking System
Testing of tracking system was done and it was found that a specific setting
of the window comparator was necessary. The following parameters were studied.
While conducting the experiment the tilt angle of the panel was 100. The
panel was aligned in the north-south direction and the panel was inclined towards the
south. Using the stepper motor was advantageous as it took only a very low power of 6W.
The sensitivity of the motor to the pulses given by the driving circuit was also very good.
It was observed that the panel tilted through an angle of 150 for every hour.
For returning the panel to it original position at the end of the day, one
hand was made to cover one LDR so that, the panel moves slowly backwards to its
original position so that it can be used for the next morning also. After bringing the panel
back to its original position, the switch is turned off.
Voltage and Current Relationship for Different Loads
Two different loads namely a chargeable battery and a sprayer was used for
testing the performance of the PV module.

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Solar Street Track Module



Solar energy is the most abundant form of energy available to man. Of all
solar technologies, photovoltaic power systems appear to have the most flexibility for
meeting a large variety of small scale decentralized energy needs of rural areas in
developing countries.
The solar PV module tracking system improves the efficiency of solar
energy harnessing. Hence it was a real beneficial task to undertake the work on an
efficient and economical tracking system for the PV module.
Going through the review of literature, it seen that research workers had
tried different methods for the development of the tracking system. The tracking system
performance will depend on different types of load or requirements.
In the present work, the simple tracking system consisted of LDRs,
amplifying and driving circuit, gears and a stepper motor. The observations of the
performance of the PV module were taken when it was untracked and tracked and the
results were compared. The power developed by the PV system was used for two loads
namely a rechargeable battery and a sprayer.
The following conclusions were drawn form the experiments conducted.
1) The tracking system using the stepper motor was working properly, i.e. the panel
rotated 150 for 1 hour without much oscillations.
2) The tracking system can be used to supply the maximum of the power developed
by the PV panel at any time of the day to properly matched loads.
3) Testing for battery charging load and sprayer load was carried out and it was seen
that the solar energy was harnessed for battery charging and rotation. Charging
was over in 5 hours.
4) The total cost of the tracking system came up to Rs.2480/-. This was a reasonable
cost as the efficiency and sensitivity using a stepper motor was more than that
compared with other motors.

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Solar Street Track Module

Suggestions For Future Work

1) As the PV module cannot be used in the rain, some electronic circuit should be
provided that will automatically cover the panel and electronic tracking system with a
waterproof cover because of the onset of rainfall.
2) An additional microprocessor can be attached to the present circuit which will give the
direct display of voltage and current flowing through the circuit with the help of
digital display. This microprocessor could also be made to feed the readings of
voltage and current to the memory of a computer to be stored so that it can be read
later on at any time. The additional use of the microprocessor will be made as a
conditioning circuit to match the load so that the panel will work at the maximum
power point of the V-1 characteristics. The circuit could be modified using a
microprocessor, in such a way that the tracking will be done after every hour such that
the panel will more through 150 of inclination for every hour.

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Solar Street Track Module



Basu B., C. Neogy, G. Bhattacharya and H. Saha (1988). Sun tracker for solar
photovoltaic systems. Solar Energy Society of India, Energy Options for
the 90's Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi.
Ganeshan S., (1993). Design and development of an automatic drurnal tracking device
photovoltaic panels, XVIII Annual Convocation of ISAE held at (IAE)
Kalogirou A. S. (1995) Design and construction of a one axis sun-tracking system.
Solar Energy, Vol.57. pp : 465-469.
Kharche S. D. (1997). Design and fabrication of low cost sun tracking system for solar
photovoltaic module, unpublished B. Tech project submitted to the College
of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dr.P.D.K.V.Akola.
Mahmoud M. and N. Ismail (1990). Determination of optimum tilt angle of single and
multi rows of photovoltaic arrays for selected sites in Jordan, Solar &
Wind Technology, Great Britain, Vol 7, No.6, pp: 739-745
Mehta V. K. (1993) Principles of Electronics. S Chand & Company Ltd. New Delhi.
Naikwad S. N., S.V. Dudul, V. N. Madansure (1997), A microprocessor based maximum
solar energy tracker and scope for advanced computer techniques for solar
photovoltaic system. International Conference on Computer Applications
in Electrical Engineering, Recent Advances, Roorkee, India, pp : 8-11.
Ram D. (1993). Fundamentals of Microprocessors and Microcomputers.
Dhanpat Rai and Sons, New Delhi.
Rai G.D., (1994) : Solar Energy Utilization, Khanna Publishers, New Delhi.
Rumala S.N., (1986). Shadow method for automatic tracking, Solar Energy,
U.S.A., Vol 37, No.3, pp:245-247.

Govt. Poly. Washim 36


Ch. No. Contents Page No.

 Solar Energy Source
 Advantages of Solar Energy
 Solar Energy Utilization
 Advantages of Using Photo-Voltaic Cells
 Disadvantages of Using Photo-Voltaic Cell
 PV Technologies
 Other PV applications
 Types of Solar Collector
 Design & Specification of Solar Panel
 Solar Energy
 Solar Photovoltaic
 Tracking System