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Self-calibrating solar position sensor

United States Patent

9,879,884
January 30, 2018
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
A sun positioning sensor and method of accurately tracking the sun are disclosed. The sensor includes a position sensing diode and a disk having a body defining an aperture for accepting solar light. An extension tube having a body that defines a duct spaces the position sensing diode from the disk such that the solar light enters the aperture in the disk, travels through the duct in the extension tube and strikes the position sensing diode. The extension tube has a known length that is fixed. Voltage signals indicative of the location and intensity of the sun are generated by the position sensing diode. If it is determined that the intensity values are unreliable, then historical position values are used from a table. If the intensity values are deemed reliable, then actual position values are used from the position sensing diode.
Maxey; Lonnie Curt (Powell, TN)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
14/ 808,265
20160091298
July 24, 2015
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.