A brief video tour of the solar sensor housing (radome) I made from a standard plastic outdoor electrical box and a hobby store transparent globe.
I had written previously about the housing here.
This sensor housing is mounted on a moving part of the georgesworkshop gen2 solar trough heater. It finds the position of the sun and steers the solar array toward it. A very simple commercially available circuit (US$35) provides all the brains that is required. The entire array uses only a small amount of 12 volts DC and can operate from a gel cel for a week or from a small solar PV panel. I used this array for solar heating of a swimming pool.
Of the two spots, I now prefer the one at the top of the motor drive (the right lower arrow). Initially, I had decided to mount the sensor at the top left, since this was the earliest corner of the array to receive morning light and it worked fine.
I could have chosen any of the top or bottom hangers in the array to mount the sensor housing. There was an interesting failure that happened at the top left.
Here is a draft excerpt about melting the sensor housing, for your enjoyment:
"Appendix A - Lessons from Experience
In this section, I share with the reader some of the things that went wrong which were only evident with the passage of time.
Melting the sensor housing I wrote in the sensor section that the sensor housing should be located on a moving part of the array.
On the large swimming pool heater array, I chose to locate the sensor on a hanger at the top west end of the array since this corner received light first in the morning.
As I said in the last post, I am going to be away from the workshop for a week.
Thanks for your interest.
[to the gen2 intro and reading list]