The students participating to the project could work on the following tasks :
- Create another prototype of the solar tracking system. This could help us validate the program / positioning system.
- Research a unique positioning system : see if it is possible to invent a system that can adapt with as little effort as possible to almost any solar tracking system.
- Create a user interface to set up the main board (currently Arduino board). Right now you have to put all the parameters by hand in the program and then upload it again to the board. These parameters are for example the GPS position, speeds of the motor... So it requires changing the code. It would be interesting to look at the processing language (closely tied to Arduino environments) and see what is possible to achieve in terms of graphic interface. Another option is to look at the firmdata protocol which allows communication between a computer and the Arduino board.
- Design a watertight box in which the Arduino board will be embedded (see this wiki).
Meeting of the 21st of February 2014 at the "Istituto Tecnico Industriale" of Matera
We shall create an operating module which yields 1Kwh (this represents four 250 W solar panels).
This will require that we achieve the following tasks :
- Locate motors strong and reliable enough to move the system (structure and four panels).
- Design the structure that will support the solar panels
- Design the mechanism to move the panels horizontally and vertically (gearing)
- Design a PCB circuit that embeds all the components necessary to drive the motors (Arduino, LEDs, buttons). The resulting board should be put into a waterproof box.
- Computer software
- Write a software program to automatically move the panels to face the sun
- Write a graphic user-interface to set parameters of the system (GPS coordinates, speed of the motors...)
- Write an evaluation of the costs to build one module