What actually goes wrong with the batteries????
Battery packs exposed
Keeping Warm In New England
Plugging into the SUN
50A 600VAC transfer relay
AC source transfer relay is finished
All weather dish movers
Almost ready to wire things up
Assembling the parts for the load manager
Beating on the system/ use it or loose it
Better solar absorber plate
Better Specific gravity instrument
bringing in the batteries
Burgers are better
California or bust! Solar modified mobility scooter
Canning pot
canning season is here again
Concentrate the heat test #4
Connecting battery bank #2
Cooking some hotdogs
Crappy luck with the weather
Designing a simpler and lower cost solar tracking amplifier
Equilizing the batteries
Everything is working again.
Finally installed
multytracker 1
First test
Getting a BIG solar plug
Getting some experience with DC
Getting started on the final wiring
Giving the batteries a workout
Hot water tank as energy storage component test 1
Identifing the wires, and mounting the Inverter panel
Insulated hibachi reaches baking temperatures
keeping the head cool
keeping warm.
Sue Dabrowski (my better half) makes some solar eggs
Looking the data
Making some stewed tomatoes
making the connection to the existing wiring
making the DC pos buss bars
More improvements to the dish
Multy purpose tracker 1
New tracking amplifier
No more throw away batteries please
Not very encouraging test # 3
Old Rear projection TV lens makes solar furnace
power distribution box fabrication
preparing to connect the big loads
Reading Specific Gravity accurately
running off grid all day
Running on batteries
Second test
Snow melt prep for test 2
Snow melt test one A close look at the process
solar cell adhesion test #1
Solar cells on my Insight ????
Solar cooker gets some wheels
Solar cookout in 20 degree weather
Solarfest 2013
Solar powered wood burner X-Y stage
Solar powered wood burner focus and lens assembly
Solar teaching toys
Solar tracking with no electronics" Solar Puppet"
Starting the rewiring
The 7 foot circle of sunlight moves to rear deck.
the final high current connections
the finished load center and charge controller connections
the heavy lifters arrive
The snow is returning???
The snow keeps on coming, need to figure out a good way to keep the panels clear
The sun is dropping 1KW/SQ meter
The transfer relay is wired in and working.
Tracking the sun Big Time
Mikey's solar panel snow sweeper
Vertical and horizontal trackers installed, drive wheel controls
Very interesting heating element
Who pulled the plug?
Wood burning art ?
Yuck, more snow
Making a small solar concentrator
Building MIMA and the plug in adapters
Converting a telephone truck to electric
DIY dual pulse Capacitor Discharge Spotwelder
Replacing gasoline with solar electric lawn equipment
Tapping into the Wind
Expanding MIMA with the Distribution board ( users projects )
How to stop the aging process DIY
What is Genesis One?
MIMA Install Day 2005 a Big Success!
Building a hybrid car grid charger

Solar tracking with no electronics" Solar Puppet"

Solar tracking with no electronics" Solar Puppet"
Solar powered solar tracker no electronics

Many years ago I built a small device that follows the sun without any electronics. With my new found solar panels and some nice precision gear motors I built a cute completely solar powered devise that looks to the best source of green energy we will ever have, the sun. The baby's eyes look at it's generations best hope for a kind world.
The dual cubes are set up so that the opposing solar panels current cancels when they both are evenly illuminated by the sun.The resultant voltage is zero. When the sun moves to the west, the panel on the west side gets more direct sun, and the east side gets less sun.The increased current on the west side brings the voltage across the cells up with the polarity of the west panel. This drives the motor to the west until a new null is located. The vertical axis works the same.

The shades amplify this unbalancing effect near the null point for more accurate tracking.

When you bend over to read the sign, your shadow makes the device look away. When you move again so it gets full sun, it leaps back quickly to point directly to the sun. Almost seems alive. A cool toy and science project.
The two solar panels on the back assure 360 degree recovery. A simpler dual panel tracker works just fine except for when the sun is behind both panels.
I discovered another cool use for the device. A solar puppet. I stand at a distance, and using my hand/fingers to cause a shadow on either the horizontal or vertical cells, I can make the device shake up and down for a yes, and left to right for a no.
Is solar energy our best source of green energy? I shade the vertical cells to make the eyes go up and down for a "YES". Do we have a lot of time to switch to alt energy sources? A shading of the horizontal cells makes the eyes move left and right to say "NO"

The things to be aware of if you want to try to build your own version.

The low voltage gear motor with the ideal gearing is not something you can buy easily or cheaply.
The quickness of the movement and the accuracy of tracking, heavily depend on the balance of power available from the cells, and the gear motor characteristics I was lucky to find the ideal motors at a swap meet, and have not found gear motors that work as well again.

I have some cheap non geared motors that respond sluggishly, and do not track very accurately, but demonstrate the principal.
I have some very high quality gear motors that are very positive in their response, and do track accurately, but do not move very fast, so you don't get the alive like response that I get with the motors on the puppet.

Some day I will put up a video that explains all of this and shows the difference that the choice of motors brings.
The motors I used that work so well,if purchased new would cost over $100 each, taking this out of the cheap solar demonstrator category.

The ideal motor is low voltage (will run with 1V)has a 4-6:1 gear ratio, and requires very low current(<10mA) to start and operate