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

Dual Channel Heat Fin Project

One of the challenges I encountered while developing a parabolic trough design was finding a suitable heat fin for the focal plane. Existing ones on the market are all single channel designs. While these work fine for normal non-concentrating flat panel absorption designs, with the higher flux levels of a compound parabolic trough they leave something to be desired.

New Parabolic Trough Components

I am happy to announce we have a new line of parabolic trough components that are available in our store. For the traditionalists, we have a standard parabolic rib with a 37" aperture and 6" focal length designed for a 48" wide reflector. For you cutting-edge types, we have our own special compound parabolic ribs that are designed for twin 24" reflectors and have a 6" focal plane.

TinyTracker Installation Video

We've got a new video to share showing TinyTracker installation on our dual-axis Solibrium mount, which is a standard Altitude-Azimuth axis pole style mount. Installation is simple and both axis can easily be completed in a half an hour or less.

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