How To Make A DIY Sun Tracking Device

November 26, 2021 | By hightic | Filed in: Solar power.

What is a sun tracking device?

sun-tracking device consists of solar panels that follow the sun throughout the day. Sun trackers or solar trackers, therefore, maximize electricity production created by solar panels by trapping more sunlight.

Solar trackers increase energy production and also reduce the cost of electricity, This is particularly important for persons using large-scale systems.

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Sunflower solar tracking technology

Sunflower solar tracking is a fascinating phenomenon which is called heliotropism.

Heliotropism occurs mainly in young sunflowers. This usually stops once the flower starts to bloom.

Here’s how it happens. The sunflowers look toward the sun as it rises in the east. They follow the sun across the sky throughout the day until it sets in the west.

University of California, Davis, plant biologists discovered that sunflowers use an internal circadian clock to follow the sun during the day as they grow. This internal clock helps the plant to anticipate the timing and the direction of dawn (Science Daily, 2016)

Mature sunflowers generally face east in the direction of the rising sun (Scienceabc, 2021).

Why do sunflowers track the sun?

Researchers studying this phenomenon found that sunflowers turn to accommodate the lengthening of different sides of the stem at different times of the day (NPR, 2016). 

The rate of growth on the east side of the sunflower is highest during the day and very low at night, On the other hand, the rate of growth on the west side is low during the day and higher at night” (NPR, 2016). 

Researchers at the University of California, Davis discovered that sunflowers face the rising sun because increased morning warmth attracts more bees.

When the heads face east, that side is significantly warmer in the morning than west-facing flower heads. That warmth provides bees with extra energy early in the morning. Direct sunlight also lights up ultraviolet markings on the flower petals that are visible to bees but not to human eyes. (Science Daily, 2021).

The east-facing position also helped the plants reproduce more efficiently. Plants facing the East produced larger and heavier seeds. They also released pollen earlier in the morning, to coincide with the times when bees visit (Science Daily, 2021). .

How scientists mimic sunflowers in solar tracking technology

A UW-Madison electrical and computer engineer found a way to mimic the passive heliotropism seen in sunflowers for use in the next crop of solar power systems (Science Daily, 2012).

Harvard University scientists found a way to mimic sunflower technology, This could lead to the creation of solar panels covered with microstructures that turn to follow the sun as it moves across the sky. The outcome would be more efficient light capture (Science Daily, 2018). 

Learn About The Sun – Research


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