DIY Duel Axis Automatic Solar Tracker Design and Installation

DIY Duel Axis Automatic Solar Tracker Design and Installation


00:00
hello Dan again I’m here to talk about 00:02
automatic solar trackers they greatly 00:06
improved my input these automatic solar 00:09
trackers now could be found for like 00:11
eighty dollars per kilowatt you know of 00:13
panels that they can turn 00:16
I recommend dual access solar trackers 00:20
of course because you know summer and 00:23
winter the Sun isn’t completely 00:25
different orbit so it’s really critical 00:28
to think about dual axis which I’ll show 00:30
you on a diagram how I build mine out of 00:32
wood and I only have to change the 00:34
north-south access twice a year you know 00:36
once in the spring once in the fall 00:40
solar trackers greatly improve your 00:43
input that’s why it’s especially here in 00:47
Oregon we have so much so many really 00:49
bad days if you have a solar tracker on 00:51
those bad days and the Sun even comes up 00:53
just for like two hours man you want to 00:55
catch it and if you have a roof mount 00:57
you know a fixed amount you might just 00:59
miss the boat to where I’m gonna get a 01:01
hundred percent you know on those cold 01:04
winter days solar panels produce best in 01:06
in the cold believe it or not people 01:07
don’t find aware of that in the summer 01:09
it’s hard to get them over 80% because 01:11
they get hot the prices of the solar 01:17
trackers have dropped by like 40 percent 01:19
since I bought mine now you can find 01:21
them on eBay probably Amazon – for like 01:23
$80 per thousand watts so consider that 01:27
I had some difficulty filming because 01:29
I’m up in trees you know live in the 01:31
forest so my solar arrays are up in 01:33
trees and it’s it’s terrifying work but 01:35
you might find that very enjoyable and 01:38
please like and subscribe if I helped 01:40
you in any way at all thank you there’s 01:43
a quick view of my solar trackers a 01:46
hundred feet up in the tree there’s 01:50
another one they’re both tracking the 01:54
really oh this is like as bad as it gets 01:56
we have no Sun today they’re producing 01:59
about 15% of their potential 02:03
[Applause] 02:04
so this is what the little solar 02:07
trackers look like it’s a little piston 02:10
and it’s got a throw rod there it 02:14
extends and contracts so when you put it 02:16
on one side of your solar tracker and it 02:18
extends it leans it to the east and when 02:21
it retract it leads it to the west very 02:23
very simple 02:24
they run on milliwatts you don’t have 02:28
any measurable drain on your system at 02:31
all mine are powered off the solar Pat 02:34
one solar panel on each array comes with 02:38
a little mounting brackets and this 02:42
little laser eye it it’s got like two 02:45
little baby-baby solar panels in there 02:48
and when the Sun gets to one side it 02:51
tells it to use some power you know and 02:54
it tilts it tilts you’re a very very 02:57
easy just face mount them perpendicular 03:00
to the panel’s and lastly your little 03:05
controller this little controller has a 03:08
couple different sets on it so you can 03:10
make it track only every five minutes so 03:12
it’s not going like that you’ll see 03:15
later in the video anyway don’t be 03:19
intimidated it’s so easy the directions 03:21
are really really clear it’s only like 03:22
three little wires very very easy to 03:25
hook up it also comes with a little 03:28
remote I can’t find it though but anyway 03:30
there’s a little remote which is useless 03:31
to me it’s only good to like 30 feet 03:33
minor 100 feet up in trees so but those 03:36
of you putting one up in your yard 03:38
you’ll be able just walk out test it and 03:40
use your remote you manually like in the 03:42
morning sometimes it takes like 45 03:45
minutes you know for the the tracker 03:47
will be like you know because the night 03:49
before was left like this and then it’s 03:50
gone you know so it starts around 7 03:54
o’clock in the morning and it’ll start 03:57
making this transition back to wait but 03:59
by the time the Sun is over you know the 04:02
horizon it’s pretty much facing the Sun 04:06
so there it is here’s a little diagram 04:08
of a really inexpensive custom-made DIY 04:13
solar tracker for 800 watts in panels 04:18
I’ve already got four of them on the 04:20
ground over there and basically which I 04:31
won’t get into anyhow so it makes like a 04:34
little holy roof here’s the back on the 04:36
back in the center where they’re 04:37
balanced 04:38
I put three hinges and so those will 04:42
will pivot to the east and west for your 04:45
morning and evening sunlight in the 04:47
solar tracker will plug up from a member 04:50
right up to the one side of these and it 04:53
will track east and west giving you 30 04:55
40 percent more power every day from 04:58
morning till sunset post and this 05:09
connection right here is a big like you 05:12
know half-inch three-quarter inch lag 05:15
you know into a hefty two by six and 05:19
that swivels this way north and south so 05:23
in the summer it’s almost flat like this 05:26
way and in the winter you tip it way up 05:27
and this armature in the back here comes 05:31
down and has several pegs you can just 05:33
pull the tag out and stick it in the 05:35
hole whatever north/south access okay 05:44
you’re east and west here’s the three 05:46
two by fours continuing on down through 05:49
it’s basically this it’s your solar 05:52
panel array and you put your your 05:55
automatic solar tracker piston right 05:58
from this mean where the carriage bolt 06:01
is mounted for your north-south access 06:02
it goes right up to the back of one of 06:06
these 2×4 is this supports the 800 watt 06:10
array which is really close to the 06:12
maximum the the automatic Pistons are 06:16
released the ones I buy right 06:18
you manage for and there it is oops 06:21
really really simple homemade DIY dual 06:25
access solar tracker you only have to 06:28
change the north and south axis this way 06:30
flat and you know north and south you 06:35
know a couple times a year and you know 06:37
for the winter and then for the for the 06:39
summer so I hope this helps people get 06:42
ideas on how to produce more power with 06:45
less panels efficiency that’s the key so 06:52
here I am um actually just underneath my 06:56
solar panel array on my oak tree this 07:00
tree this pine I’m near the top of it 07:02
I’m starting to attach it to begin a 07:05
third array they’re terrifying work give 07:10
you an idea of how high up I am anyway 07:14
my array isn’t perpendicular to the Sun 07:19
anymore I mean neither is that one over 07:21
there so I’m relieving the north-south 07:27
axis to more fit spring and summertime 07:32
right now this is the north-south axis 07:39
axis of the array morning and noon goes 07:44
this way like a teeter-totter or seesaw 07:48
and I just have it on hinges and it 07:51
survived already a spring summer fall 07:56
winter and then another spring summer 07:59
starting this is the main pivot hinge 08:02
that goes forward and back but I have to 08:06
leave these screws right here to put it 08:10
on a summer track 08:13
look every I believe those two screws 08:16
now those of you who curious who I am 08:19
it’s me anyhow this gives you an idea of 08:24
what I’m doing over here this now pivots 08:31
you see this way summer fall winter 08:37
summer is way down here so I’m pivoting 08:41
it on this on this main carriage bolt 08:43
right here and so this is your seasonal 08:47
access which you only have to change a 08:49
couple times a year 08:50
very very simple I just pull it down and 08:53
tighten those screws along down here 08:55
somewhere or you can add a solar tracker 08:57
to it and it’ll do it automatically 09:00
they’re only about 120 bucks and then I 09:03
also have one in the house a solar 09:04
tracker that’s gonna go here on this 09:06
access and give me my morning and 09:09
evening sunlight I have them tied off on 09:12
ropes these little cheesy ropes right 09:15
here are what I use nowadays I pull them 09:19
manually okay I bought myself a little 09:25
more time I have four more solar panels 09:28
that I bought this winter that I’m gonna 09:30
be putting two up there actually I might 09:33
just put all four and this tree behind 09:34
me but I’ve now flattened out my pants a 09:38
little bit so they’re more perpendicular 09:39
to the Sun will improve my efficiency 09:42
I’ll get I’ll get more rays putting it 09:45
out and then I adjust it this way for a 09:47
morning and night and see I lowered the 09:51
mounting bracket and I’m ready to get 09:54
down and start another project I got to 09:57
go do the same thing with that panel 09:58
over there drippy lumber didn’t cost me 10:05
much if you can go look at the designs 10:08
and same thing it’s basically a scissor 10:10
design flipping off the edge of the tree 10:12
the wind is blowing 10:14
that windmill is really going off not 10:22
much wind here in Oregon and it was 10:25
really terrifying getting that window 10:26
the top of that tree but on stormy 10:29
nights it’s awesome you know that 10:34
feeling you get when you accomplish 10:36
something I’m up easy to climb in but I 10:44
just went through give you a look-see 10:48
down it’s a little bit intimidating 10:52
anyhow you can see the structure I’m 10:56
standing on it’s it’s basically a 10:59
scissor effect and it is supporting this 11:07
solar array here I have it roped off in 11:12
case like you know something breaks 11:14
during wind storms whatever the solar 11:15
panels will be captured over there over 11:44
there gorgeous spring day was it April 11:49
21st I think anyhow back to work hello 11:56
I’m on foot cam now I’m still up in this 11:59
crazy high tree house I just got one 12:01
bolt in I don’t know if you can see 12:04
under my arm there 12:05
the solar tracker is hanging from the 12:08
timber I’m going to get the the board 12:11
that it’s gonna kick to on the bottom 12:13
over here I can’t really see all the 12:15
glare but I want just to say something 12:17
for all you you know do-it-yourselfers 12:20
out there on the journeyman builder I’ve 12:22
been building since I was 17 and have a 12:25
you know there’s nothing I can’t build 12:27
when it comes to working with trees you 12:30
can’t just stick a lag in it and call it 12:32
good you can’t just pound a nail in it 12:34
call it good or drive a screw in it my 12:37
screws are really brittle that’s how 12:39
they hold their threads when trees move 12:41
brittle metal snaps it will give you no 12:44
warning it will just break off but it 12:48
does hold things tight to keep it from 12:50
moving in the first place this is a soft 12:53
steel spike I use them for doing log 12:56
cabins you know log decks things like 12:59
that this system that I’m standing on 13:01
right now has several of these around 13:03
the six and eight inch straight you 13:04
pre-drill the member you’re attaching to 13:06
the tree so you don’t split it out but 13:09
then you drive it into the tree and that 13:12
allows for some movement I mean you can 13:13
bend this many many times and it’s 13:16
talking to break a screw or a lag it’s 13:19
just gonna go it won’t give you any 13:20
warning at all to wear a spike it’ll 13:23
work for years you’ll notice a there’s a 13:24
gap develop developing up there but it 13:27
won’t work you know just break off with 13:28
no warning because it’s soft steel so 13:31
then you can you know couple that with 13:34
more screws or giant lag or something 13:36
like that then if the light breaks you 13:38
know it cuz things start to move but you 13:41
always got your soft steel shear holding 13:44
everything together don’t forget that 13:46
don’t just stick a screw in there think 13:48
it’s gonna you know support your life if 13:50
you look around where I am I mean I’m 13:53
basically 90 feet up if I fall I’m dead 13:57
you know so anyhow I just wanted to 14:00
reiterate that I think it’s really 14:01
important that people realize it’s very 14:04
dangerous 14:05
thank you Oh back to doing the solar 14:09
tracker but I gotta climb down and get 14:11
my batter back okay all right here we go 14:16
I got this thing hooked up I’m testing 14:18
the Lynx I undid my safety and boy it is 14:24
really tricky about waving in the wind 14:27
can you hear it it’s it’s micromanaging 14:31
its turned itself all the way into the 14:34
Sun and let’s see what happens with it 14:37
things to start start the automatic 14:43
checker comes back 14:49
now I let light on it it’s it’s tracking 14:53
the light 15:01
okay I have it weather-wise I just got 15:04
it to test it to see how it works and I 15:07
loved it and get this it’s running off 15:10
of one solar panel it’s it the the 15:13
checker mechanism is powered by 12 to 24 15:16
volt I’m running to both all the panels 15:19
are in series and groups of two so that 15:21
they’re going into the house at 24 volt 15:23
so I just slice off of one one 15:27
particular panel to keep it at 12 volt 15:30
and the whole unit is running off of one 15:33
panel and so you still easy this there’s 15:38
a little laser eye up there I just 15:40
separately mounted it to see that it 15:43
would work with my scheme and it did so 15:46
there it is anybody can do it I’ll come 15:49
back up in weatherize stuff for right 15:51
now I’m gonna go have lunch anyway 15:54
beautiful organ treetops and my solar 15:59
tracker is a trekkin I tilted the summer 16:11
winter access back I lowered the the 16:15
north-south axis the tracker reached its 16:18
maximum throw and now it’s clicking away 16:21
but I remember reading in the 16:22
instructions is a screw on there say you 16:25
can sit down out of how often it 16:28
actually seeks you know down to every 16:30
couple minutes or five minutes just like 16:32
that but you hear it clicking clicking 16:34
clicking it’s maxed out but it knows it 16:36
could go farther it’s not perfectly 16:39
perpendicular with the Sun so I can 16:42
either move that bracket in in a little 16:46
bit and give it more of a throw which 16:49
kind of alarms me a little bit because 16:50
then I got to worry about the length of 16:52
my wires and so for right now I’m gonna 16:55
let it go it’s really easy to move it 16:58
over so I can get a greater throw but I 17:00
have to test the morningside and anyhow 17:03
it’s really simple little tiny screw so 17:06
that it stops trying to go past its 17:08
maximum throw 17:09
I do it once every five minutes or 17:11
something we’re just plenty tracking 17:13
right now this is instant look the 17:15
moment I shaded watch how quickly it 17:18
responds it’s way overkill see that you 17:22
need that I mean that’s one fast song 17:25
right 17:26
anyhow beautiful Oregon tree top solar 17:31
array in Illinois Valley now I got to 17:35
get down and go eat okay 17:37
yeah I couldn’t leave without adjusting 17:40
it I I went and moved the top and it’s a 17:44
much steeper angle and now it hasn’t 17:47
reached its complete throw yet and I 17:49
also turned down the interval timing 17:51
screw and it seemed to help a little bit 17:55
but I don’t have a screwdriver head you 17:56
try to use my utility knife and I can’t 17:58
get in there but look at that angle this 18:01
is you know heading towards the evening 18:03
sunset and it’s not even dunk it look it 18:07
goes farther see now it’s pulling back 18:13
so you can see the beauty of it and 18:16
sunrise is way over there it’s gonna go 18:19
back completely the other way as an 18:23
example I’ll just show you well it’s 18:26
it’s trying to he knows the Sun to the 18:29
right I’ll have to wait to the morning I 18:31
can’t trick it now but anyway these 18:34
things are beautiful about 120 bucks and 18:38
if you’re not up in a tree it’s really 18:39
easy to work on and rain weather proof 18:41
it and all that I’ll probably take it 18:43
off in the winter but you get a lot of 18:45
storms 18:46
it is not much Sun anyway and it’s so 18:49
you know one screw here one screw there 18:51
two screws there and those of you think 18:57
you’re gonna use your solar panels I 18:59
have them tied off so even if the whole 19:01
thing breaks these ropes will catch it 19:04
this is the winter set rope and this is 19:06
the summer set rope right here so and I 19:10
have other backups as well this is tied 19:13
to the mainframe so yeah I’m not really 19:16
worried about it and solar panels are 19:18
very very durable well listen to that 19:20
thing just thinking it can dial in 19:22
I gotta fix that I’m gonna come back 19:24
with a screwdriver turn it way down so 19:26
it only interacts every you know two 19:29
minutes thank you so there it is you 19:34
don’t let people tell you that solo 19:36
chakras are a waste of money or anything 19:38
like that you save so much money and you 19:41
get a lot more production especially 19:42
when you need it you know during the 19:44
stormy seasons man you get a glimpse of 19:46
sunlight you want to harness it as quick 19:48
as possible you’re not gonna do that on 19:50
a fixed mount so automatic solar 19:53
trackers are really really desirable and 19:56
they’re so inexpensive and affordable 19:57
now you know I recommend them please 20:01
like and subscribe 20:03
I have over thirty videos tutorials if 20:06
you scroll the bottom it starts with the 20:08
basics what to buy how to start and if 20:11
you just start small you’ll learn how to 20:13
do it all yourself and next thing you 20:14
know your power bill is shrinking and 20:16
you realize how easy it is to do so 20:19
that’s that’s my goal 20:20
thank you

5 thoughts on “DIY Duel Axis Automatic Solar Tracker Design and Installation

  1. PS: I never take the automatic solar trackers down, they seem designed to function in harsh weather, and have survived some pretty strong wind thus far (well, strong by our standards in a place with no wind). I'll be installing one at one of my clients off grid property very soon. It will be a ground mount, and much easier to film its process.

  2. BTW,, I have NEVER had to take the solar trackers off. They seem to handle the wind storms fine so far. Starting year 2 now

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