Use for PV panels, parabolic trough, dish, or just about any other actuator based solar tracking application!
Hook this controller up to any DC motor driver (comes with 1 HB2 motor driver) for linear actuators (or other motors) with reed/pulse position sensors, configure it for your geometry and start tracking. The MegaTracker supports single or dual-axis operation, with a variety of mount types, and each axis can operate in either analog or digital mode. Analog mode uses external LED or similar sensors to provide aiming information, while digital mode uses astronomical calculation and trigonometry to determine panel angle. Full parameter configuration puts you in control of system behavior. The waterproof membrane keypad provides a full interface for stand-alone operation with easy access to all features via the simple menu system.
Things the SolarMega controller does that most other solar tracking controllers don't:
- Single or Dual-Axis operation
- Altitude-Azimuth, Polar-Declination, and Horizontal mount types supported
- Real-time-clock and astronomical algorithms calculate the position of the sun
- Analog or digital tracking modes
- calculate angle based on actuator position (most analog systems don't sense position directly)
- a programmable event queue for scheduled events
- full autonomous or slave operation
- communication via usb or XBee wireless serial protocol
- keypad and display
- 7 analog inputs for external light, temp, or other analog sensors
- external motor driver module protects controller
The cool transparent enclosure is made out of tough polycarbonate to keep things dry with a gasketed seal, and the swing open door provides easy access when needed for making connections. We install one 3/4" watertight flex conduit fitting for cable access (which easily handles power, usb, and a couple jack connections), but additional fittings may be made on any side.
The MegaTracker1 features an Arduino compatible ATMEGA 1280 processor motherboard with our custom PCB on top. A 16x2 LCD displays status information and the sealed membrane keypad makes configuration and stand-alone operation a breeze. With built in motor driver, temp sensing, Real-Time-Clock with alarm and battery backup, display and keypad headers as well as a total of 9 I/O ports and more, this board is ready for your next home solar robotic project.
Software updates for the MegaTracker1 program will be available for free to registered owners. The USB connection to the motherboard makes updating the SolarMega1 firmware quick and easy without a special programmer.
SolarMega1 Software features:
- Support for Polar, Horizontal, and Azimuth trackers
- Support for control arm (~120deg max) or pulley/chain (linear rotation>180) actuator linkage
- Scheduled operation
- Easy menu driven configuration process
- Astronomical solar position calculation
- Xbee network support
- Configurable com port
- Configurable analog/digital input ports
- Support for variety of external analog and digital sensors including: thermistor, DS18x20, light, voltage, current, flow meter, dew detector, and more
- Data logging via com port
- Arduino Mega 1280 Motherboard
- USB port for serial control and software updates
- Reprogram with other applications/updates as they become available
- built in clock with calendar, alarm, and battery backup
- 16x2 LCD display with white characters and blue backlight
- Xbee socket for wireless control and monitoring
- 7 Analog/digital I/O ports with terminal connections including Gnd and +5v
- 2 dedicated digital I/O ports with terminal connections including Gnd and +5v
- Extra headers for I2C, com ports, analog inputs, and additional motor driver channel
- Requires 6.5-12vdc max power, not recommended for unregulated "12v" solar power
- Low power consumption
- Waterproof enclosure w/sealed membrane keypad & conduit fitting
- Arduino Mega 1280 motherboard
- SolarMega1 daughterboard
- 2 - 6' Motor driver cables with RJ45 connectors on one end.
- 1 - HB2 external motor driver
- DC Power ~1' pigtail