Looking for experts to collaborate to design the mechanical and electrical part

I am currently developing a open-source solar tracker system in Matera within the framework of the unMonastery project. Here is the description of the project : /t/open-source-solar-tracker/355

I’m looking for experts to collaborate with me to design the mechanical and electrical part.

Mechanical part :

  • Design a system that can support solar panels :

  • Should be as simple as possible so that “anyone” can build it.

  • Should be designed in a way that you can adapt it easily if you want to build a smaller / larger system

Electrical part :

  • Design a system that can drive the mechanical part described above.

  • Should be as simple as possible so that “anyone” can build it.

  • To get the system position it should rely on independent components (like encoders) so that the motors can be interchangeable.


My favorite ones!

Ping @Costantino and @msanti :-)

Hi Marc!

Yes, my mechanical skills faded over time, but I’m interested. Feel free to contact me, we can arrange (i.e.) an hangout on Google.

In the meantime, I’ll check the documentation in the link you provided.


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Rock on :slight_smile:

Watch out, @Marc – you just teamed with a superhero :-)

Hi Massimo!

Ok let me know what do you think of the specifications. Then we can organise a hangout.


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ping me

…about any developments so I may blast out updates on Edgeryders social media accounts. thanks


Hi Marc, and the rest,

I had this idea for a friend who’s making a heliostat (sun mirror). He liked it, but sticked with his very complex gearboxes. The elegance of this system is that it will be very stable, because the edges are supported, and not only a center joint that has to be very rigid and therefore expensive.

Here’s the proof of concept in cardboard (first two minutes is introduction to the problem)

Downside of this mechanism is that the angle is limited, it cannot make full use of the late evening/early morning sun.

Let me know, would be a joy to work it out with you guys.



Well done, @vela3. The video is quite something. :slight_smile:


Hi @vela3,

I really like this idea because making something simple / reliable using gearing boxes is quite an issue.

I have a question : what are the degrees of rotation that could be reached for

  1. the azimuth part?

  2. the inclination (altitude) part?

Thanks a lot for sharing your idea!

benefit-cost ratio

Althoug this system suffer from a reduced range of inclination, it can offer the huge benefit of a lightweight structure. As in other cases, it could be useful to develop a simulation that, given the optimal and the actual range of rotation on both axis, calculates the relative efficiency of the panels under such conditions. I don’t know if something similar is already done by someone, i could make some search.

Makes sense

Maybe we should also consider using only only one axis (east-west).

I read somewhere that the gain of efficiency obtained using two axis is augmented by 5-10% respecting to a one axis system.

Using this site http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis/apps4/pvest.php# it’s even less.

So yes it would be really interesting to have a tool to calculate the efficiency respecting to the rotation (for both axis).

Sorry Marc, I left this topic unattended! Maybe end-August I’ll be in Matera. We could exchange some thoughts about this project.

More than that :slight_smile:

@msanti, it turns out @Marc will also take part in the Netural Walk. You can nerd out in long hours of march. I’ll listen in, too :slight_smile:


Netural Walk always carries surprises, see you soon!

Netural walk

Hi @msanti,

Yes it will be a pleasure to meet you during this walk!

See you!



Okay, I’ve been playing with Qcad and this system does not seem the best to me. (btw, any tips to share these dxf files with you and the rest of the world?)

Two major disadvantages:

  1. The max angle seems to be around 22,5° in two directions. The sum of the diagonals is about 6% shorter then when it is in the middle. This asks for some elastic element, which is an extra disadvantage for the next disadvantage.

  2. At max angle the lower leg and the solar panel are almost in-line. This is very close to a self-locking angle of 180°.

So I’ll be thinking on better ideas :slight_smile:

Elec / Mech

I was electrical/ electronic fitter & turner. If I can be of any assistance please contact me. I have a few friends who work in the solar business who may be willing to assist.