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Proceedings Paper

Solar tracking system with linear regression error correction
Author(s): Norman Wood; Stephen Cox; Chris Cornwall
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Paper Abstract

A motor driven two-axis mount combined with PC-based solar position and correction software provides highly accurate tracking of the sun. The system includes ta two-axis mount driven by servo motors with optical encoder position indication; servo amplifiers; a personal computer equipped with a two-axis motor controller; software for calculating solar position; and error correction software. The optical encoders have a resolution of 0.1 arcseconds per step, and the solar position software agrees to within 1.25 arcminutes with US Naval Observatory calculations of solar position. The error correction software applies linear regression via singular value decomposition to a series of manual tracking corrections. The regression creates a best-fit compensation for misalignment of the mount. Tests with simulated random correction errors show that the correction algorithm can achieve accuracy within two times the standard deviation of the manual correction errors. This accuracy was maintained following final manual correction for test periods as long as 54 hours. Various tracking options allow the user to scan repeatedly across the solar disc, track a position offset from the sun, or reflect the solar image into another instrument.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 1996
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2832, Optical Instruments for Weather Forecasting, (21 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.258878
Show Author Affiliations
Norman Wood, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Stephen Cox, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Chris Cornwall, National Renewable Energy Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2832:
Optical Instruments for Weather Forecasting
Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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