Solar Tracking by Crouzet

Crouzet, the specialist in electromechanical, electronic and embedded computing technologies, has established a presence in the renewable energy sector with its customised offer, meeting the needs of solar panel tracking systems in particular.

For optimum operation and maximum efficiency, solar panels need to be perfectly oriented towards the sun and ideally kept perpendicular to its rays. Crouzet is involved in all phases of solar tracking with products offering automated control of the movement of solar panels, and orienting them precisely.

Millenium 3 Smart, the third-generation logic controller developed by Crouzet,acts as the brains of the installation. Simply and intuitively programmed, it manages the position of the solar panels according to precise instructions that enable it to control and automate the actuators (motors and position sensors) making up the installation. It has a specific function block that can be used to set up a dual-axis solar tracking system: the position of the panel is calculated using the location's latitude and longitude coordinates. Installed in a network under the control of a supervisor, logic controllers can bring their intelligence to a solar panel array.

The ease of communication between the Millenium 3 and brushless D.C. geared motors such as Crouzet's TNi20, which are used to move the panels, is synonymous with the user-friendly and independent nature of the system: The logic controller and geared motors can operate on 24 V DC, avoiding the need for them to have an additional power supply . These geared motors are very robust and are therefore ideally suited to the harsh and hostile environments of solar tracking applications, which also need the system to operate continuously with numerous stops and starts. Rugged and energy-efficient, they benefit naturally from an extended life due to the lack of internal wear. What's more, the electronics built into the motor feedback data to the logic controller, enabling it to calculate the correct position of the solar panels.

Finally, Crouzet offers position sensors that perform the initialization function at the start of travel of panel rotation, as well as a safety function when folding back the panels. These ensure that the Millenium 3 Smart is alerted in the event of any over travel.


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