Trends in the Development of Machinery and Associated Technology

Cătălin Alexandru
2008 unpublished
In this paper, we propose a strategy for optimizing the tracking systems, which is based on the design of the optimal motion law for obtaining as much as possible incident radiation with minimum consumption for driving the system. The optimization is made by reducing the angular field of the panel without significantly affecting the incoming solar energy. The key idea is to determine the optimum angular field in which the system is efficient from energetic point of view. This strategy is
more » ... strategy is possible by developing the virtual prototype of the tracking system, using specific software solutions, as follows: ADAMS-for developing the mechanical model, EASY5-for designing the control system. The technical solution for converting the solar energy in electricity is well-known: the photovoltaic (PV) systems. The energetic efficiency of these systems depends on the degree of use of the solar radiation, which can be maximized by use of mechanical systems for the orientation of the panels in accordance with the Sun path. Basically, the tracking systems are mechanical systems (i.e. mechanisms) driven by rotary motors or linear actuators, which are controlled in order to ensure the optimal positioning of the panel relatively to the Sun position on the sky dome. The key word for the design process of the tracking systems is the energetic efficiency: using the tracking system, the PV panel follows the sun and increase the collected energy, but the driving motors/actuators consume a part of this energy. In this paper, we propose a strategy for optimizing the tracking systems, which is based on the design of the optimal motion law for obtaining as much as possible incident radiation with minimum consumption for driving the system. In fact, the optimization is made by reducing the revolution angular field of the panel, without significantly affecting the incoming solar energy. The key idea is to determine the optimum angular field in which the system is efficient from energetic point of view. This strategy is possible by developing the virtual prototype of the tracking system, which is a control loop composed by the multibody mechanical model connected with the dynamic model of the motors/actuators and with the controller model. The virtual prototyping platform integrates specific software solutions, in the concurrent engineering concept: ADAMS-for developing the mechanical model, and EASY5-for designing the control system of the tracking mechanism. The application is made for a single-axis tracking mechanism, which tracks the daily motion of the Sun, facing East in the morning and West in the afternoon. The tilt angle of the revolute axis equals the latitude angle of the location because this axis is parallel with the polar axis. The geometric optimization of the tracking mechanism, which has been performed in [1], uses the dynamic model of the mechanical structure, and computes the geometrical parameters of the tracking mechanism (the global coordinates of the design points), intending to minimize the power consumption that is needed for tracking the Sun path.
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