Design, Fabrication, and Testing of a Dual-Axis Solar Turtle

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Issue Date
2023-03
Authors
Juang, Jengnan
Radharamanan, R.
Lowe, Spencer
Nguyen, Thong
Williams, Trenton
Advisor
Citation

Juang, J., Radharamanan, R., Lowe, Spencer, Nguyen, T., & Williams, T. (2023). Design, Fabrication, and Testing of a Dual-Axis Solar Turtle. Proceedings of the 2023 IEMS Conference, 29, 45-54.

Abstract

A portable, light weight, low-cost, dual-axis solar turtle prototype with dynamic self-tracking solar panel was designed and fabricated using 3D printed, machined, and purchased components to charge a battery large enough to run multiple devices. The base and body of the design housing is a locking lid rolling cooler that insures if the unit is tipped over the components inside will not be damaged. The design also makes the unit slightly weather resistant. Utilizing a fixed main post made from lightweight strong material allows for the main panel to have a height of 5 feet off the ground or 1 foot off the base of the design for the solar cell to operate. PVC was chosen due to its hollow center and strong and slightly flexible body that is lightweight. All parts needed for the prototype design were purchased along with some parts being 3D printed. Some aluminum milled pieces were used in the final design due to the large amount of load needed to handle at certain points of the build. Implementing a practical "yes/no" function will verify proper angle and exposure of the panel towards the sun, using miniature solar panels that will be eclipsed by the larger solar cell whenever directly facing the sun itself. The dual-axis solar turtle built is marketable and more efficient than static panels due to auto-tracking. When tested, it collected 19.9% more solar energy than static panels.

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Published in SOAR: Shocker Open Access Repository by Wichita State University Libraries Technical Services, January 2024. 2023 IEMS Officers: Gamal Weheba (Conference Chair); Hesham Mahgoub (Program Chair); Dalia Mahgoub (Technical Director); Ed Sawan (Publications Editor); Wilfredo Moscoso (Proceedings Editor); Abdulaziz G. Abdulaziz (Associate Editor)
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