New consulting relationship with GreenTecAuto begins
What actually goes wrong with the batteries????
A look at todays Hybrid and EV battery packs
Battery packs exposed
Keeping Warm In New England
Plugging into the SUN
50A 600VAC transfer relay
AC source transfer relay is finished
Adding some new batteries
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
Finally nearing completion of the battery enclosure
multytracker 1
First test
Getting a BIG solar plug
Getting some experience with DC
Getting started on the final wiring
Getting too old to be slinging 120 lb batterys into the rack
Giving the batteries a workout
Hot water tank as energy storage component test 1
Hot water test 2
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
Lightning the super fast EV minibike
Looking the data
Main structure of battery rack is finished
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
Solarfest is next weekend so it is time to tweak the tools
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 new batteries are finally installed and working
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
Chevy Bolt EV joins the family
Getting in shape while making electricity
Replacing gasoline with solar electric lawn equipment
What is Genesis One?
How to stop the aging process DIY
MIMA Install Day 2005 a Big Success!
Building a hybrid car grid charger
Tapping into the Wind
Expanding MIMA with the Distribution board ( users projects )

Designing a simpler and lower cost solar tracking amplifier

Designing a simpler and lower cost solar tracking amplifier
New low cost dual solar tracker

I have been using a dual H bridge solar tracker design for many years, but it has a lot of parts, is relatively cheap, but takes some time to build on a breadboard. I needed to make another tracker for a new small solar dish, and decided to take a new look at the circuit.
After some research I found a nice solution.
Since a single power supply is how I wanted to power the system, a full bridge servo amplifier which can source or sink current through the motor in either direction was a requirement. I found that a bridge tied load audio amplifier chip if dc connected rather than the ac coupling that it was designed for will do the job nicely.I built a prototype on a breadboard, and found that it worked as well as the much more complex and expensive discrete component version that I have been building, and only has a few support components, so it is both inexpensive and easy to build.
a schematic of the circuit:
IC dual solar tracker
After some further tweaking of the design, I will be offering the built and ready to use dual tracker system including the photo diode solar sensors as a product.
Buddy Paul Provost laid out the pc board so that the circuit could also be used as the 15W stereo amplifier that it was designed for by simply cutting two etches and adding some capacitors.
The circuit can also be used as a dual position feedback servo by using a feedback potentiometer geared to the motor output on the +input and a position command potentiometer on the - input.
The motor will turn and rotate the feedback potentiometer to the position commanded by the command potentiometer. The command can also be generated by a computer with a PWM or analog output.
The board is designed with the chip on one edge, so the chip can be attached to a heatsink or chassis. My first test with 1-2A draw showed minimal heating of the chip, so only a minimal heatsink is required unless the system is pushed to the 2A limit frequently.
As with any tracking system, mechanical design can make or break the system. The axis should have balanced loads so the servo does not need to continuously drive current into an axis just to hold position.