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Here’s a DIY soalr tracker, turned people’s choice for Australia’s “New Inventors” show -

It is a new type of ‘passive’ solar tracker that uses a combination of direct sunlight (radiant heat) and shade (ambient air temp) to affect the thermal expansion and contraction of a liquid to make the solar panel rotate. The expansion of the liquid causes the panel to rotate toward the west during the day and the contraction causes the panel to rotate back towards the east at night, ready for the morning sunrise. The simple hydraulic system, ensures that the solar panel is angled towards the sun from dawn through to dusk – all year round.

Hydrasolar, Thanks Damien! Link & site.

Related:
Solar projects @ MAKE – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. N0QBH says:

    The passive solar tracker has been around for over 30 years. I remember first reading about it in the 1973 Whole Earth Catalog.
    Here’s a link to the original
    http://www.zomeworks.com/solar/trackrack/trackrack.html

  2. Thuli says:

    This one’s different to those, they take a while in the morning to angle towards the sun, this one faces the sun all day, including first thing in the morning

  3. servant74 says:

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/DIY/1997-04-01/Maximum-Sun.aspx

    has a DIY from 1997. They also mention some publications from a few years before from University of Florida.

    Still, great concept!

  4. servant74 says:

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/DIY/1997-04-01/Maximum-Sun.aspx

    has a DIY from 1997. They also mention some publications from a few years before from University of Florida.

    Still, great concept!

  5. Bill Hopkins says:

    real interesting. what kind of fluid did you use?

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