Track the sun for home lighting.

sun_track

Have a room in your house that really could benefit from some sunlight? Build a Suntrack to reflect light in as long as possible. The two axis motor set up is built from a couple of  satellite dish positioning motors with the control electronics removed. The whole thing is controlled with a PIC 18f2520.  Once calibrated, it will reflect the sun into your room, updating every twenty seconds. While this may not be the most efficient way of lighting a room, it is a cool way to do it if you absolutely must have sunlight. We can’t help but wonder if there would be a way of using a solar powered system to do this to save energy. Could this possibly be done using BEAMhead” circuit?

[via Hacked Gadgets]

Comments

  1. Aziz, LIGHT!

  2. mark says:

    I think it prefer one that is positioned to keep the sun out of my room. the toom im normaly in is west facing, so in winter afternoons its gets unbarable

  3. barry99705 says:

    @mark

    They call that invention “blinds”. ;)

  4. sweetchuck says:

    I think one using weights or a winder like a grandfather clock would be better than a solar one.

  5. mark says:

    @ barry99705 i have blinds, or i wund get blinded, but when the ligth comes thru the glass its in the room. and will eventualy make the room warm.

    maybe next summer il just get a big mirror and stick it out side the window

  6. BigD145 says:

    Put some solar panels around the rim of the dish and you’re good to go.

  7. Freetard says:

    Back in high school (20 years ago, sheesh), a friend and I built a solar tracker for PV panels. It was dead simple, using two 741 op amps and CDS cells set in 2-inch black tubes to compare light levels between the cells and adjust the array accordingly. The whole thing could be powered from a local battery charged by a tap off one of the PV panels. We only built one degree of freedom into the mounting system, since it was destined for arctic latitudes where inclination wasn’t as much of an issue. It would track the sun from sunrise to sunset, then reset to its start position when both cells went dark. I think the total parts count for the circuit was maybe 10 pieces, and cost something like $5. It wasn’t all that efficient, since we didn’t use a microcontroller, but it got the job done and didn’t mind the cold.

    Our biggest regret was having not patented the thing. Meh. Open source, baby!

  8. MRE says:

    using a beam solar head would be quite simple. all you have to do is mount the reflector off angle from the solar cell such that when light strikes the panel dead on, and causes the motor to move such that the panel is no longer facing the sun, the reflector now is.
    As all beam builders point out though, beam sun trackers are quite inefficient, pesky calibration and set of the sensors, and the daily reset would be a problem (panning the unit all the way back to the ‘sunrise’ location would not be automatic)

  9. MRE says:

    I should clarify: “..when light strikes the sensor element, (be that the solar panel itself or a cds cell, depending on design), causing the unit to rotate….”

  10. barry99705 says:

    @mark

    Home Depot/lowes has reflective window tinting for house windows. I put some really dark tinting on my home theater windows to cut down the light. works really well.

  11. steve says:

    @andy

    Awesome 5th Element referance!

  12. someguy says:

    I could see this being usefull for growing a certain kind of plant.

  13. sarsface says:

    @someguy: yeah but then you’d have an open window lookin in and might as well just use your backyard

  14. Sp`ange says:

    If you were gonna do this, why not go a step further and setup a hybrid lighting system like Sunlight Direct sells. Check out the links below –>>

    http://www.sunlight-direct.com <<==– Companies site.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ5MiLqb5VE <<==— clip from the Discovery channel about their products.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 94,439 other followers