The goal of this project is to design a device to increase solar radiation onto photo-voltaic (pv) arrays to produce clean energy. Solar tracking is used to reflect solar radiation using a mirror positioning system onto a stationary PV array. The mirror positioning systems consists of a novel spherical five-bar mechanism driven by two servo motors- both fixed to and supported by the base.
The resulting design is a novel two degree of freedom spherical five-bar mechanism capable of positioning the mirror as desired. The mechanism utilizes 180 degree link lengths to increase the rigidity. The mechanism design is inspired by the agile-eye and related works by Prof. Clement Gosselin of Laval University. The new design has several advantages: Novel manipulation of the reflector requires less power than traditional PV array tracking systems; Open-Loop solar tracking is based on well known orbital mechanics so there is no need for sensors to determine the position of the sun; Two degree of freedom spherical motion yields a large singularity free mirror orienting workspace- an altitude range of 40 to 115 degrees and an azimuth range of 24 to 156 degrees.
In this project we extended the development of the MPD to a general two degree of freedom spherical device capable of orienting objects with a very large singularity free spherical workspace.