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[[Solar box cookers]] and [[solar panel cookers]] normally do not need to be turned to follow the sun unless you are cooking beans or an especially large amount of food. They may need to be moved once over a three or four hour cooking period. However, [[parabolic solar cooker]]s require reorientation with the sun much more often. If tracking the sun is necessary, some of the ideas below will serve this purpose. Note that this page emphasized low-tech tracking methods that could be built with materials available in developing countries.
  +
__TOC__
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==Scheffler Community Kitchen clockwork tracking system==
  +
[[File:Scheffler_tracking_mechanicals,_2-9-13.jpg|thumb|300px|The [[Scheffler Reflector|Scheffler]] clockwork tracking system mechanicals]]
  +
[[Simply Solar]] provides explanation of their various tracking systems at
  +
[http://www.simply-solar.de/index.php/products/tracking-systems Scheffler tracking systems]. The mechanical system incorporates a clockwork mechanism, and often uses recycled bicycle parts. It is run by a weight and controlled by a pendulum. Resetting the reflector back from the evening position to the morning position is done by hand. They also offer photovoltaic options as well. {{See|Scheffler Community Kitchen}}
   
[[Solar box cookers]] and [[solar panel cookers]] normally do not need to be turned to follow the sun unless you are cooking beans or an especially large amount of food. They may need to be moved slightly a couple times over a three or four hour cooking period. However, [[parabolic solar cooker]]s require constant reorientation with the sun to remain effective cookers. If tracking the sun is necessary, some of the ideas below will serve this purpose.
+
==Programable tracking systems==
  +
Still in its infancy, programable tracking systems are being developed with software to not only rotate the reflector to maintain maximum exposure to the sun, but to also control cooking time and desired temperatures.  One example of auto tracking and monitoring system is the [http://www.solarcue.com SolarCue system], another is the [[Raspberry Pi: Solrmatic]]
   
__TOC__
+
==Photovoltaic tracking systems==
  +
[[File:Solar_Tracker_circuit_schematic.jpg|thumb|300px|A photovoltaic solar tracking circuit schematic provided by [[Marian Popescu]]]]
  +
A clever system has been developed by several designers, which uses two photovoltaic panels configured to maintain an even balance of power to a small electrical turntable motor. The required photovoltaic panels typically are fairly small, and are placed side by side, but at slightly different angles to face the sun. As the sun moves across the sky one panel will begin to receive less direct sunlight.
   
  +
The resulting electrical imbalance causes the dominant panel to engage the motor. The turntable will rotate until both photovoltaic panels face the sun equally, and the motor disengages. The simple system can be fairly lightweight for rotating a box or panel cooker. However, a larger [[parabolic solar cooker]], which will benefit the most from a good tracking system, will require a stronger motor and larger panels to rotate the cooker.
   
[[Video:Revolutionary Solar! Stirling engine mount Liquid piston tracker|350px|none|]]See [[Tracking Solar Accumulating Barbecue]].
+
More information about the system designed by [[Marian Popescu]] can be found at [http://electroschematics.com/8019/diy-solar-tracker-system DIY solar tracking system]
  +
  +
==Tracking for the HotPot solar cooker==
  +
[[File:HotPot_tracker.jpg|right|300px]]
  +
Most are familiar with the [[HotPot]], a fine quality cooker. It does an excellent job of representing a solar cooker as a desirable appliance. However, the original design was created for use in tropical or semi-tropical areas bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5°). The reflectors have been oriented for a more overhead sun position, which limit the cooking time in temperate locations to a 2 - 4 hour window. Here is an article that talks more about this issue. The author has been working on a tilting base mechanism to allow the reflectors to pick up early and late day sun. However, it may be a better idea to supplement the HotPot reflectors with a [[Windshield Shade Solar Cooker|windshield shade]] tipped forward and wrapped behind the cooker to catch the early and late day sun, as the pot and glass enclosure are really not suited for non-level conditions. [http://www.instructables.com/id/Hot-Pot-is-a-great-solar-cooker-but-was-designed-/ Details on this tracking design here].
  +
  +
{{Main|HotPot}}
  +
  +
==Concepts for low-tech tracking==
  +
  +
[[File:Revolutionary Solar! Stirling engine mount Liquid piston tracker|350px|none|]]See [[Tracking Solar Accumulating Barbecue]].
   
   
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[[File:Von Oppen tracking diagram.jpg|thumb|none|400px|The Von Oppen system uses a half filled bottle to act as a floating piston, which drops when the water is slowly drained from the reservoir.]]
 
[[File:Von Oppen tracking diagram.jpg|thumb|none|400px|The Von Oppen system uses a half filled bottle to act as a floating piston, which drops when the water is slowly drained from the reservoir.]]
   
==Scheffler Community Kitchen clockwork tracking system==
+
==Audio and video==
[[File:Scheffler_tracking_mechanicals,_2-9-13.jpg|thumb|300px|The [[Scheffler Reflector|Scheffler]] clockwork tracking system mechanicals]]
+
[[File:GÜNEŞİ TAKİP EDEBİLEN OCAK, SOLAR COOKER THAT TRACKS THE SUN|thumb|none|400px]]
[[Simply Solar]] provides explanation of their various tracking systems at
+
[[File:Solar oven tracker wiring|thumb|left|400 px| A very clear short video of a simple photovoltaic tracking mechanism.]]
[http://www.simply-solar.de/index.php/products/tracking-systems Scheffler tracking systems]. The mechanical system incorporates a clockwork mechanism, and often uses recycled bicycle parts. It is run by a weight and controlled by a pendulum. Resetting the reflector back from the evening position to the morning position is done by hand. They also offer photovoltaic options as well. {{See|Scheffler Community Kitchen}}
 
   
==Programable tracking systems==
+
[[File:CATASSOL automatizado 1|thumb|left|400px|[[Pleno Sol]] provides a short demonstration of the photovoltaic tracking system they have developed.]]
Still in its infancy, programable tracking systems are being developed with software to not only rotate the reflector to maintain maximum exposure to the sun, but to also control cooking time and desired temperatures.
+
+
[[File:Smart Solar Oven Platform Benchtop Test.wmv|thumb|400px|none]]
==Photovoltaic tracking systems==
 
[[File:Solar_Tracker_circuit_schematic.jpg|thumb|300px|A photovoltaic solar tracking circuit schematic provided by [[Marian Popescu]]]]
 
A clever system has been developed by several designers, which uses two photovoltaic panels configured to maintain an even balance of power to a small electrical turntable motor. The required photovoltaic panels typically are fairly small, and are placed side by side, but at slightly different angles to face the sun. As the sun moves across the sky one panel will begin to receive less direct sunlight.
 
 
The resulting electrical imbalance causes the dominant panel to engage the motor. The turntable will rotate until both photovoltaic panels face the sun equally, and the motor disengages. The simple system can be fairly lightweight for rotating a box or panel cooker. However, a larger [[parabolic solar cooker]], which will benefit the most from a good tracking system, will require a stronger motor and larger panels to rotate the cooker.
 
 
More information about the system designed by [[Marian Popescu]] can be found at [http://electroschematics.com/8019/diy-solar-tracker-system DIY solar tracking system]
 
   
==Audio and video==
 
[[Video:Smart Solar Oven Platform Benchtop Test.wmv|thumb|400px|left]]
 
{{clr}}
 
 
*'''December 2010:''' Programable system tracks the sun, and turns the reflector away when cooking is completed.
 
*'''December 2010:''' Programable system tracks the sun, and turns the reflector away when cooking is completed.
[[Video:Cooking a Yam 12-30-10.wmv|400px|]]
+
[[File:Cooking a Yam 12-30-10.wmv|400px|none|]]
   
 
{|
 
{|
 
|-
 
|-
|<youtube>92xBhfcUX0A</youtube>
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|[[File:Solar Oven with Tracker .mpg|425px]]
 
|'''March 2011:''' Box cooker rotated by PV panels sending power to 12 volt motor. As one PV panel begins to receive less light, it sends less power to the servo, which operates the motor until both panels are a sending balanced power stream.
 
|'''March 2011:''' Box cooker rotated by PV panels sending power to 12 volt motor. As one PV panel begins to receive less light, it sends less power to the servo, which operates the motor until both panels are a sending balanced power stream.
 
|}
 
|}
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{|
 
{|
 
|-
 
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[[Video:ME102 UC Berkeley Solar Tracker Project|425px|]]
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[[File:ME102 UC Berkeley Solar Tracker Project|425px|none]]
 
|'''April 2010:''' UC Berkeley student tracking system demonstration
 
|'''April 2010:''' UC Berkeley student tracking system demonstration
 
|}
 
|}
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{|
 
{|
 
|-
 
|-
|<youtube width="610" height="425">0-bj0guW0k0</youtube>
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|[[File:Revolutionary Solar! Stirling engine mount + Liquid piston tracker|425px]]
 
|'''March 2010:''' [[Tracking Solar Accumulating Barbecue]] - ''[[Brian White]]''
 
|'''March 2010:''' [[Tracking Solar Accumulating Barbecue]] - ''[[Brian White]]''
 
|}
 
|}
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{|
 
{|
 
|-
 
|-
|<youtube>vL14kpcR8yw</youtube>
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|[[File:Clock based dripper tracker demo.|425px]]
 
|'''May 2008:''' Clock based dripper tracker demo
 
|'''May 2008:''' Clock based dripper tracker demo
 
|}
 
|}
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{|
 
{|
 
|-
 
|-
|<youtube>69FXae8DOlU</youtube>
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|[[File:Dripper tracker for parabolic solar accumulator!|425px]]
 
|'''June 2006:''' Dripper tracker for parabolic solar accumulator
 
|'''June 2006:''' Dripper tracker for parabolic solar accumulator
 
|}
 
|}
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
  +
*[[Raspberry Pi: Solrmatic]]
 
*[[Scheffler Community Kitchen]]
 
*[[Scheffler Community Kitchen]]
 
*[[Sun Switch]]
 
*[[Sun Switch]]
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==External links==
 
==External links==
  +
*[http://www.scribd.com/doc/236395487/Redirecting-Sunlight-with-Polar-Tracking-in-Developing-Countries-and-Elsewhere Redirecting Sunlight with Polar Tracking in Developing Countries… and Elsewhere] - ''[[Pete Schwartz]]''
  +
*{{GoogleLinkAuto|1=http://www.suncalor.com/?C=S;O=A|2=Cuisson Solaire Innovante: Mécanisme suivi de trajectoire solaire permettant le guidage d’une parabole}}
 
*[http://electroschematics.com/8019/diy-solar-tracker-system DIY photovoltaic solar tracking system]
 
*[http://electroschematics.com/8019/diy-solar-tracker-system DIY photovoltaic solar tracking system]
 
*[http://www.simply-solar.de/index.php/products/tracking-systems Scheffler tracking systems]
 
*[http://www.simply-solar.de/index.php/products/tracking-systems Scheffler tracking systems]
*[http://iapnews.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/solar-cooker-research-in-jordan/ Solar cooker research in Jordan]
+
*[http://web.archive.org/20100228043451/iapnews.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/solar-cooker-research-in-jordan/ Solar cooker research in Jordan]
 
*[http://solarcooking.org/research/cookpend.htm Solar Tracking With A Box-Style Cooker] - ''[[Jim Thomasson]]''
 
*[http://solarcooking.org/research/cookpend.htm Solar Tracking With A Box-Style Cooker] - ''[[Jim Thomasson]]''
 
*Readymade Solar Oven Trackers available for purchase at: [http://www.solaroventrackers.com/ www.solaroventrackers.com]
 
*Readymade Solar Oven Trackers available for purchase at: [http://www.solaroventrackers.com/ www.solaroventrackers.com]
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*[http://lightmanufacturingsystems.com/heliostats/ LightManufacturing Systems heliostats (commercial) and Solar Manufacturing systems]
 
*[http://lightmanufacturingsystems.com/heliostats/ LightManufacturing Systems heliostats (commercial) and Solar Manufacturing systems]
 
[[Category:Materials]]
 
[[Category:Materials]]
  +
[[Category:Tracking systems]]

Latest revision as of 18:12, October 8, 2014

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Last updated: October 8, 2014      

Solar box cookers and solar panel cookers normally do not need to be turned to follow the sun unless you are cooking beans or an especially large amount of food. They may need to be moved once over a three or four hour cooking period. However, parabolic solar cookers require reorientation with the sun much more often. If tracking the sun is necessary, some of the ideas below will serve this purpose. Note that this page emphasized low-tech tracking methods that could be built with materials available in developing countries.

Scheffler Community Kitchen clockwork tracking systemEdit

Scheffler tracking mechanicals, 2-9-13

The Scheffler clockwork tracking system mechanicals

Simply Solar provides explanation of their various tracking systems at Scheffler tracking systems. The mechanical system incorporates a clockwork mechanism, and often uses recycled bicycle parts. It is run by a weight and controlled by a pendulum. Resetting the reflector back from the evening position to the morning position is done by hand. They also offer photovoltaic options as well.

See Scheffler Community Kitchen.

Programable tracking systemsEdit

Still in its infancy, programable tracking systems are being developed with software to not only rotate the reflector to maintain maximum exposure to the sun, but to also control cooking time and desired temperatures.  One example of auto tracking and monitoring system is the SolarCue system, another is the Raspberry Pi: Solrmatic

Photovoltaic tracking systemsEdit

Solar Tracker circuit schematic

A photovoltaic solar tracking circuit schematic provided by Marian Popescu

A clever system has been developed by several designers, which uses two photovoltaic panels configured to maintain an even balance of power to a small electrical turntable motor. The required photovoltaic panels typically are fairly small, and are placed side by side, but at slightly different angles to face the sun. As the sun moves across the sky one panel will begin to receive less direct sunlight.

The resulting electrical imbalance causes the dominant panel to engage the motor. The turntable will rotate until both photovoltaic panels face the sun equally, and the motor disengages. The simple system can be fairly lightweight for rotating a box or panel cooker. However, a larger parabolic solar cooker, which will benefit the most from a good tracking system, will require a stronger motor and larger panels to rotate the cooker.

More information about the system designed by Marian Popescu can be found at DIY solar tracking system

Tracking for the HotPot solar cookerEdit

HotPot tracker

Most are familiar with the HotPot, a fine quality cooker. It does an excellent job of representing a solar cooker as a desirable appliance. However, the original design was created for use in tropical or semi-tropical areas bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5°). The reflectors have been oriented for a more overhead sun position, which limit the cooking time in temperate locations to a 2 - 4 hour window. Here is an article that talks more about this issue. The author has been working on a tilting base mechanism to allow the reflectors to pick up early and late day sun. However, it may be a better idea to supplement the HotPot reflectors with a windshield shade tipped forward and wrapped behind the cooker to catch the early and late day sun, as the pot and glass enclosure are really not suited for non-level conditions. Details on this tracking design here.

Main article: HotPot

Concepts for low-tech trackingEdit

Revolutionary Solar! Stirling engine mount Liquid piston tracker06:29

Revolutionary Solar! Stirling engine mount Liquid piston tracker

See Tracking Solar Accumulating Barbecue.


800by566Water Based Solar Tracker Diagram

Brian White's diagram of the dripper tracker which is potentially a highly accurate waterclock. Graphic by Mike Murphy.

SimpleSolarTracking

qtsunshine@hotmail.com's design for a simple system to reposition a solar cooker automatically while unattended.

Clocktracker600

]Tracking mechanism that uses the hour hand of a clock to control the turning of a solar cooker

Solar Water Clock Drive

A plan for a solar water clock drive submitted by ChrisM1111@aol.com

Solar Oven Repositing Device V1-0

Solar oven repositioning device designed by Jeff Monaco. Tom Sponheim suggested using wax melting instead to remove the need for a magnifying glass.

SolarOvenRepositingDevice V2-0

Tom Sponheim suggested using wax melting instead to remove the need for a magnifying glass

Golfballs

Gimp equa float pistons

Provisionally called liquid piston tracker

Von Oppen tracking diagram

The Von Oppen system uses a half filled bottle to act as a floating piston, which drops when the water is slowly drained from the reservoir.

Audio and videoEdit

GÜNEŞİ TAKİP EDEBİLEN OCAK, SOLAR COOKER THAT TRACKS THE SUN04:22

GÜNEŞİ TAKİP EDEBİLEN OCAK, SOLAR COOKER THAT TRACKS THE SUN

Solar oven tracker wiring04:56

Solar oven tracker wiring

A very clear short video of a simple photovoltaic tracking mechanism.

CATASSOL automatizado 100:44

CATASSOL automatizado 1

Pleno Sol provides a short demonstration of the photovoltaic tracking system they have developed.

Smart Solar Oven Platform Benchtop Test04:28

Smart Solar Oven Platform Benchtop Test.wmv

  • December 2010: Programable system tracks the sun, and turns the reflector away when cooking is completed.
Cooking a Yam 12-30-1003:42

Cooking a Yam 12-30-10.wmv

Solar Oven with Tracker01:49

Solar Oven with Tracker .mpg

March 2011: Box cooker rotated by PV panels sending power to 12 volt motor. As one PV panel begins to receive less light, it sends less power to the servo, which operates the motor until both panels are a sending balanced power stream.
ME102 UC Berkeley Solar Tracker Project00:23

ME102 UC Berkeley Solar Tracker Project

April 2010: UC Berkeley student tracking system demonstration
Revolutionary Solar! Stirling engine mount + Liquid piston tracker06:29

Revolutionary Solar! Stirling engine mount + Liquid piston tracker

March 2010: Tracking Solar Accumulating Barbecue - Brian White
Clock based dripper tracker demo05:33

Clock based dripper tracker demo.

May 2008: Clock based dripper tracker demo
Dripper tracker for parabolic solar accumulator!06:37

Dripper tracker for parabolic solar accumulator!

June 2006: Dripper tracker for parabolic solar accumulator

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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