Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PROF'S POSER - Dial 'S' for 'Sun'

Nothing like tapping into the best brains out there.

Sp sorry if this is another question without an answer, as yet.

This weekend I bought a solar security lamp combo.

Where it was needed rather determined where it went and, despite a 5m cable, my choices were limited.

However, I did manage, a great risk to life and limb, to get it pretty high up, to make the most of the daytime sunlight. And, despite the picture, the panel is pretty much clear exposure all day.

However, I faced it due South. And near vertical. Now I have noticed, on a nice day like today, it is missing out on any solar impact until mid-morning, though if the sun stays out it will keep it pretty much until dusk.

My question is whether this is the most sensible orientation? Two real issues. When is the sun mostly 'out', and when is it at its most solarific?

I know that data will exist, and can determine the optimum year-round setting, as I don't want to go up there again. Scaaaaareee!

In passing, I will advise that I am working on a self powered device to help panels auto-track the heat of the sun, which I'll share when complete.


Dave said...

Incline the panel at about 60 degrees from the horizontal. That way it will work in the winter when the sun is low in the sky and continue to operate even when the sun is directly overhead in mid-summer.

Good luck with the tracking mechanism, they are, to say the least, quite complex!

Peter said...

Ta... though that does mean another trip up that rickety ladder!

No suggestion on direction... erring more East or West? As it happens it is facing exactly in the direction we ended up putting the...[plug]... Solarventi solar dehumidifier. But that was kinda where the wall was.

As to my tracker...watch this space. Thanks to zero skills in IT and/or electric/onic/s, my ideas tend to be more of the Brunelian KISS variety:)

Dave said...

Until you have perfected your tracking device, I would always try to get it pointing as due south as possible.

Dave said...

Rather than putting the panel up in the tree, why not make a little angled mount for it high up on your south facing wall? Much easier (and safer) working with ladders against a wall than into and up a rickety old tree.