3d Printed Enclosures for TinyVCS and TDiff

Sometimes it's nice to put a little plastic around the electronics for protection as well as appearance. We've struggled with how to provide enclosures for some of our small electronics where we just don't have the volume to justify custom injection molded enclosures. Thanks to the 3D printing revolution, we've solved that problem! Our first offering is a nice little enclosure for the TinyVCS/Wind Trigger board.It has a small flange that can be drilled/screwed for mounting, and the two halves both snap together and are held by recessed screws on the top.

I Sense Something

This is a video for the new Temperature Differential Controller!

New Wind Trigger Functionality and Video

I was inspired by the new DarkStar controller's wind speed learning features, and incorporated the same functionality into the Tiny VCS Wind Trigger. The Wind Trigger version of the Tiny VCS features a lower maximum sensed voltage (15V) for greater sensitivity, faster sample and update frequency, and minimal hysteresis. These features help provide optimal functionality for wind trigger applications.

DarkStar Solar Tracker Bench Demo Video

This three part video covers basic features and operation, remote control configuration, and park and wind trigger functionality for the DarkStar dual-axis tracking controller.

Part 2: R/C Configuration

Part 3: Park Configuration & Wind Trigger Functions

Track'n Park Demo Video

After creating a video for the anemometer interface, I realized we didn't have a basic video explaining the park function and what makes the Track'n Park different from the TinyTracker series.
So...here it is:

Using an Anemometer with the Track'n Park

DarkStar Dual Axis Controller

The heart of the DarkStar is the dual axis controller it combines all the functionality of our most advanced single-axis controller with several more features:

  • Remote light sensor allows more sensitive electronics to be isolated
  • Integrated analog set-point control for wind speed trigger from anemometers
  • R/C circuit provides manual control of motors and tracking mode.
  • Easily replaceable automotive type fuse
  • Full reverse polarity protection

New Product - Temperature Controller

For our first new product of '15, we introduce this basic temperature controller. There are lots of solar heating/cooling situations where only a single temperature sensor is needed and an advanced temperature differential controller is inappropriate, and this is an ideal thermostat type control at a great price. A 3 digit LED display shows temperature and also displays program parameters for easy customization including hysteresis, delay time, temp correction, and more.

Looking forward in 2015

New products are in the pipeline for this new year. We've got a dual-axis external sensor that should be ready to make it's debut by the beginning of March. We've come up with a vacuum formed dome design to create an ideal enclosure. The attached pictures show a prototype unit. One of the nice features is the built in light vane which should make for accurate solar aiming. Also shown is one of the rough domes fresh from the vacuum former before it's been cut from the sheet of PET plastic.

Compound Parabolic Trough Assembly Time Lapse Video

I managed to inadvertently move the camera when I started recording, but still ended up with a useful video that shows how our new compound parabolic ribs and heat fins go together to create a solar trough system for heating water.

Home CSP Components used:
- 5 compound parabolic ribs
- 2 dual channel heat fins


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