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Design of a Solar Tracking System for Improving Solar Photovoltaic Efficiency (Electrical/Electronics Project)

The aim of this work is to develop a microcontroller-based solar tracking system and assess the value of using single and dual-axis solar trackers as means for improving the performance of photovoltaic generation systems. Two experimental test setups were designed, implemented and used to collect the evaluation results at a site that is located at 28° N latitude, 31° E longitude.

One of the test setups included a monocrystalline photovoltaic (PV) panel that is fixed at a reference inclination angle of 28° with respect to the horizon, and facing due south. Whereas, the other experimental setup included an identical photovoltaic panel that is equipped with a solar tracking system, which enables it to continuously follow the sun trajectories.

The solar tracking system has been designed and developed using a set of light dependent resistors (LDR) serving as solar radiation intensity sensors and an Arduino microcontroller (RB-Ard-11) on which the tracking algorithm was programmed. This study showed that the net power produced by the photovoltaic panel increased by about 23.15% and 29% when equipped with single-axis and dual-axis solar tracker, respectively, as compared to the reference case of a fixed mount panel.

An analytical model is used to characterize PV cells. The used expressions, based on explicit methods, allow the current and the voltage at key operational points, (i.e., in particular at the maximum power point) to be calculated using the single-diode model as a function of cell temperature, irradiance and common manufacturers data.
Source: Minia University
Authors: A. A. M. Hassan | Adel A. Elbaset | A. T. Hasouna | Amr Emad

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