Publication Date

Fall 12-8-2014

Document Type

Final Report

Embargo Date


Problem Statement

Our design problem was to create a solar radiation tracking device. The primary goal of this device was to keep a solar panel perpendicular to the solar radiation with 95% efficiency throughout the day. The tracker had to be able to account for the sun’s seasonal angle in St. Louis, and the design would be even better if it could account for the sun’s seasonal angle at any latitude. Another important aspect of the solar tracker design was that it must be able to reset itself each day for the sunrise without human input. Other aspects to consider were weatherproofing in order to keep the device safe from the elements throughout the year as well as the ability for the device to be independent of the power grid as the entire premise of a solar panel is to create usable energy rather than consume energy.

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering Design Project (MEMS 411)