Statically mounted solar panels generate electricity at their peak during the solar noon for that day. However the mount location and direction makes panels sub-optimal at other times of the day. To utilize the maximum incident solar energy it was decided to point the solar panels in the optimal direction for greater efficiency by the use of a sun tracking platform.
Solar panels were mounted on movable mounts, these mounts were controlled by a geared mechanism with a feedback loop. The optimal values were computed and fed into a Teensy 2.0 Arduino based Micro Controller.
Two main challenges faced during this project were to cool the Microcontroller unit while at the same time making sure that it kept the correct time. Teensy by default does not have a piezo electric crystal managing its time. It was decided to add one to ensure that clock keeping was optimal. Along with this an enclosure was developed to prevent damage from the elements.
This platform is said to have increased the efficiency of the panel setup by 10% on an average day. The amount of savings and CO2 offset from this project keeps on adding through the years.