Rotating solar panel

This is a project my students implemented during the 2017-2018 evening club  Young Hackers. It is a demanding project for elementary school students and it took us many meeting to accomplish. It contains a small 5V solar panel that can rotate in two axes so as to harvest maximum power from the sun. The project is based on the Dual Axis Solar Tracker Project from OpenSourceClassroom.

Students used their tinkercad accounts to design and test the schematics. Besides Arduino we used:

  • Two servo motors
  • For LDR sensors
  • Two potentiometers
  • A push button
  • Two led lights
  • Various resistors

Students worked in groups in a production line style to complete the tasks. (wire soldering, wire insulating, parts screwing etc.).

Production line
During the assembly
Wire insulating

We wanted to implement two modes in the final product.

  • A manual mode – controlled by two pots.
  • An auto mode – controlled with four light sensors.

In order to achieve that we programmed the device to change between modes with the help of a push button. The programming was done in tinkercad.

Students presented their work in various festivals and exhibitions at the end of the school year.

Student exhibition