Suntura 400 Solar Tracker Owner Rev2
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Suntura 400 Solar Tracker Owner’s Manual Rev. 1.0 Copyright 2011
Pages 2-‐13 ………. Installation instructions
1. Solar panels (The Suntura 400 is available with and without solar panels.) 2. Solar panel mounting arms 3. Main tracker mount 4. Electronic control box (“brain”) 5. Photosensor 6. Fasteners and fuses 2
Step 1: Installing the wooden post Figure 1.
Step 1 Continued: It is recommended that a 6 in x 8 in x 8 ft pressured treated wooden post be used to mount the Suntura 400 Solar Tracker. Figure 1 provides recommendations for installing the wooden post, but only a licensed local civil engineer can provide exact instructions and dimensions as local soil and wind conditions vary. You will need to drill a total of six holes through the 8 inch face of the wooden post. Bolts will be placed through these six holes which will be used to secure the main tracker mount to the wooden post. All six drilled holes should be a diameter of 7/16 inch (3/8 inch diameter bolts are used to secure the main tracker mount to the wooden post). It is highly recommended that you drill the six 7/16 inch diameter holes before mounting the wooden post into the ground. See Figure 2 below for the location of the six holes on the wooden post. After drilling the six 7/16 inch diameter holes through the wooden post, dog-‐ear the top of the wooden post (The dimensions of the dog-‐ears can be found in the upper right hand corner of Figure 1). Dog-‐earing the wooden post is necessary so that the Suntura 400 Solar Tracker does not hit the wooden post when tracking in the East/West directions.
Figure 2: Hole pattern for bolting main tracker mount to wooden post
After drilling the six holes and dog-‐earing, the wooden post is ready to be cemented into the ground. Figure 1 gives shows the dimensions for the cementing the wooden post into the ground. The dimensions in Figure 1 can only be used as a guide. Wind, soil bearing strength and frost heave in your area might require you to use a stronger/larger concrete footing and wooden post. Consult a local civil engineer before installing the wooden post and concrete footing. Figure 3: Braced wooden post while concrete dries
Step 2: Bolting the main tracker mount to wooden post Figure 4:
Before bolting the main tracker mount to the wooden post, confirm that the 8 inch face of the wooden that you will bolt the main tracker mount to is oriented in the correct direction (true south for northern hemisphere locations and true north for southern hemisphere locations). Locate the main tracker mount (part 3 in the parts list). Before installing the main tracker mount on the wooden post, it is highly recommended that you are certain that the electronics (control box, photosensor, and fuses/wire) are secured in a safe location. You do not want these components to get damaged while you are installing the main tracker mount. To attach the main tracker mount to the wooden post, you will need to purchase the following fasteners (It is strongly recommended that galvanized fasteners are used. If the tracker is being installed in a marine or tropical environment then stainless steel fasteners must be used): 6
1. Six 3/8 inch x 8 in bolts 2. Twelve 3/8 inch flat washers 3. Six 3/8 inch split collar lock washers 4. Six 3/8 inch nuts For safety reasons, it is recommended that two people secure the main tracker mount to the wooden post. One person stabilizes the main tracker mount while the other secures the main tracker mount to the wooden post using the six 8 inch bolts. Figure 4 above shows a main tracker mount secured a wooden post.
Step 3: Attaching the solar panel mounting arms to the main tracker mount Figure 5:
The nuts, bolts and washers for securing the solar panel mounting arms to the main tracker mount are pre-‐installed in their respective positions on the main tracker mount. At this point, remove these nuts, bolts and washers. There are two holes in the center of the solar panel mounting arms (number 2 in the parts list). These holes are used to secure the solar panel mounting arms to the main tracker mount. Using the nuts, bolts and washers that you just removed from the main tracker mount, attach the two solar panel mounting arms to the main tracker mount. See figure 5 above. Note the orientation of the front and back solar panel mounting arms in figure 5: pictures C and D. 8
Do not completely tighten up the bolts that hold the solar panel mounting arms to the main tracker mount so that you are still capable of moving the solar panel mounting arms. This will allow you to easily align the solar panel’s mounting holes with their respective mounting holes on the solar panel mounting arms. After you have attached the solar panels, you can fully tighten the solar panel mounting arm bolts.
Step 4: Attaching the solar panels to the solar panel mounting arms Figure 6:
Locate the bag labeled “solar panel fasteners”. Use these fasteners to secure the solar panels to the pre-‐drilled holes on the solar panel mounting arms. Secure the two solar panels closest to the wooden post first followed by the outer two solar panels as shown in figure 6. Once you have securely fastened all of the solar panels, you can fully tighten the bolts that attach the solar panel mounting arms to the main tracker mount. These bolts were not fully tightened in Step 3.
Step 5: Mounting the electronic control box Figure 7:
We recommend using two small screws to mount the electronic control box to the wooden post. The electronic control box should be mounted about 6 inches above the bottom of the north/south actuator. See figure 6 above.
Step 6: Attaching the photosensor to the solar panel. Figure 8:
Locate the bag labeled “photosensor fasteners”. Use the nut and bolt in this bag to bolt the photosensor to the solar panel using the existing hole in the solar panel. Figure 8 shows the location of where the photosensor needs to be mounted. The photosensor mounting bracket must be mounted at a 90 degree angle to the solar panel. The proper orientation of the photosensor with respect to the solar panel is shown in Figure 9. For the Suntura 400 Solar Tracker to accurately follow the sun, the photosensor mounting bracket must be mounted at a 90 degree angle. At this point, the physical installation of the Suntura 400 Solar Tracker is complete. Double check all fastener connections to make sure they are snug and properly tightened. Make sure that the wires traveling from the electronic control box to the two linear actuators and photosensor are NOT tangled. These wires need to have slack so they are not ripped or broken as the Suntura Solar Tracker moves throughout the day.
Step 7: Solar Panel Connections The solar panels electrical connections can now be performed. Solar panel electrical connections need to be installed following the electrical code of the country you reside in. If you are unfamiliar with the electrical code of your country, consult a licensed electrician. Note: The Suntura Solar Tracker moves in all directions throughout the day while tracking the sun. Make sure that there is enough slack in the solar panels electrical connections to handle the full rotational movements of the Suntura Solar Tracker throughout the day.
Step 8: Electrical Connections The Suntura 400 Solar Tracker’s electrical system is designed to operate on 12 or 24 volt systems. The maximum operating voltage of the electronic components is 30 volts. Exceeding 30 volts will cause the electrical system to permanently fail. If you are going to use a battery or battery bank to power the Suntura 400 Solar tracker, then a 12 or 24 volt battery will be required. If you are using the Suntura Solar Tracker to charge a 12 or 24 volt battery bank, then you can power the Suntura directing off the battery bank. If you are going to use a power supply (powered from the electrical grid), then a 12 volt power supply that can deliver a minimum of 5 amps is required. 12
Once the power supply has been properly selected, locate the electronic control box that you mounted to the wooden post in Step 6. Follow the directions below to power up the Suntura 400 Solar Tracker: 1. There are three labeled toggle switches on the electronic control box. Confirm that the “Manual / Track” toggle switch is in the “Manual” position. 2. Locate the red and black wires coming out of the bottom of the electronic control box. Note that these are the only two wires coming out of the bottom of the control box that are not connected to anything. These are the two power supply wires. Connect the red wire to the positive terminal of your power supply. Connect the black wire to the negative terminal of your power supply. Note: At this point the electronic system will not turn “on” because the power supply fuse has intentionally not been installed. Confirm that you have connected the power supply wires properly to your power supply. Connecting the power supply wires backwards will destroy the electronic control box once the fuse is installed! 3. There are three fuse holders that hang out from the bottom of the electronic control box. There will be one fuse holder that does NOT have a fuse installed. This empty fuse holder is the power supply fuse holder. Locate the bag labeled “Power Supply Fuse”. Confirm that the “Track / Manual” toggle switch is in the “Manual” Position. Confirm once again that the red and black power supply wires coming out of the electronic control box are connected to their appropriate terminals on the power supply. Insert the power supply fuse into the empty fuse holder. The electrical system of the Suntura Solar Tracker is now “on”. 4. Locate the “North / South” and “East / West” toggle switches on the electronic control box. Use these switches to orient the Suntura Solar Tracker and solar panels to point towards the sun. Once you have oriented the solar panels towards the sun, switch the “Track / Manual” toggle switch to the “Track” position. Quickly walk away from the Suntura Solar Tracker as the tracking system is now active and the Suntura Solar Tracker is actively tracking the sun. Congratulations! Your Suntura 400 Solar Tracker is now completely installed. Sit back, relax and watch it track!