In this investigation, we propose to use the thermal expansion properties of metals in a bimetallic strip as a base of operation of a passive solar tracker. The design process involved the determination of all aspects necessary to make a first prototype based on requirements and operating conditions previously identified. Predictive mathematical models were used to decide critical aspects. Certainly, some aspects of the design were determined experimentally to ensure the proper functioning of the solar tracker. The product of this research was the construction of a prototype with the ability to be placed with an average angular difference of 25 degrees to the position of the sun, under controlled conditions. The device created is a passive solar tracker with two degrees of freedom, one used to track the sun daily, operates automatically actuated by the bimetallic strip, the other one is manually adjusted in seasonal changes to compensate the variation in the decline of the sun along the year. Although the accuracy of the system is low, the cost of production is well below the purchase price of any commercial solar tracker, and its construction is simple, making it an economical alternative to increase the production of photovoltaic energy on a PV panel currently fixed.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.