Embedded System Based Open Loop Tracking System For Modified Solar Thermal Collector Using Sun Position Algorithm

Document Type : Primary Research paper


Department of Mechanical Engineering, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, India


In recent days, solar energy is one of the key sustainable power sources and is
picking up its prominence rapidly. When the Sun's rays strike the solar system
perpendicularly, the system gains the most energy. Solar energy can be made more feasible by
amplifying its efficiency. Thus, solar tracking helps to track the sun and make the setup to
receive the irradiation perpendicular at all time. In order to yield a real time solution and to
maximize the energy efficiency, solar systems are continually tracked. In this paper solar
tracking is designedfor a Parabolic Linear Fresnel Collector (PLFC) system. It is a modified
solar collector which is a combination of Parabolic Trough Collector (PTC) and Linear
Fresnel Collector (LFC). It combines the features of both PTC and LFC which is compact and
efficient.Many individual Linear Fresnel mirrors are pivoted with their midpoints in a
parabolic profile. The centre plate is employed with a geared stepper motor. All the discretised
Fresnel mirrors are interlinked with a linkage mechanism and therefore rotating movements
of the stepper motor make all the mirrors to pivot simultaneously. In this paper, a solar
tracking system is designed for the PLFC system, the tracking is based on an embedded
tracking design. MAT-lab software is used to calculate the tracking angle of the Fresnel
mirrors with respect to Sun’s position using Sun Position Algorithm. The Arduino
microcontroller and a stepper motor are used to pivot the Fresnel mirrors according to the
instant tracking angle. The objective of this paper is to track the discretised plates of
modifiedPLFC solar system based on the sun’s position. The proposed solar tracking helps to
increase its efficiency by pivoting the mirrors to receive maximum solar irradiation.