Solar Panel Rotation Mechanism
After finishing my SolidWorks course at the University of Florida, I was tasked to work with two others to design a solar panel rotation mechanism capable of tracking the sun to maximize solar efficiency. To view the submitted report with more detailed explanations and part drawings, click here.
When first challenged with the design prompt, I decided to sketch out three ideas that I felt would fulfill the design prompt with a bluesky mentality.
After evaluating the different factors in a decision matrix, design concept 3 (the middle image in the drawing sketch above) yielded the most favorable results. Below are screenshots depicting the assembly of the modeled solar panel rotation mechanism.
The design project was a great learning opportunity and certainly put my modeling skills to the test. I learned about design for manufacturing, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, and the basic principles of how encoders, motors, and drivers all interact to output motion.