Solar Power Devices

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After enjoying one week of summer in Greece.. I am back with further updates on the solarBOT. This is the second last blog. In the coming week I will dedicate more time to finishing the project.




The Mechanical Design


After spending some thought on the design I wanted to keep it simple and robust. One visit to the local wood store and secured some scrap wood the base of the SolarBOT. I decided to go with light DC motors with low current consumption. The stepper motor control was also working but ended up consuming more current for 4 motors. Having few current to spare from Solar Panels; choosing less current hungry and low weight motors was optimal for design.


DC Motor Specs



The Simple SolarBOT


The image of the final Solar BOT Setup. The Solar panel is held together by broken Chinese chop sticks for support with some hot glue and surprisingly it works quite well.


The Solar Panels are set at an angle of 45 deg for maximum solar i/p


Held together by old business cards


Arduino BOT Control


For all four motor control I decided to use joystick interface to Arduino. Below some tests were done with Arduino UNO and later with Arduino Nano to test the control.




UNO Control

Controlling the final setup with Arduino Nano



Arduino Nano




In the coming week I plan to integrate all the sensor code; mount the Nano on the SolarBOT and bring everything together for the final run of the Simple SolarBOT.