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> Solar Tracker Project Issue: 2010-1 Section: News

The Solar Tracker Project consists on producing a self-oriented system of photovoltaic panels, in a way that they position themselves always perpendicular relatively to the solar rays. This perpendicularity increases the income in about 30%, comparatively to the fixed panels.

This project started in November of 2009, as a challenge proposed by the Physics teacher, to his students from 12ºB in Escola Secundária de Amares, to participate in a national competition.

Five of those students accepted the challenge and idealized and then constructed a low-budget solar tracker that increases energy income.

The work of the youngsters occurred not only on the school grounds, but as also in the entire Minho region, where they did research and established partnerships with institutions, such as: Câmara Municipal de Amares, Minho University and DST-Renováveis (a company connected to the production and commercialization of electric energy from renewable sources).

After the construction of the system, this group of students, who called themselves Heliocientistas, installed the self-oriented system on their school grounds, so that the electrical energy produced thereby, can be used by the whole student body. For such they need to build a small room where every student can recharge his or her laptop and mobile phone, using clean energy produced by the photovoltaic panels, instead of energy from the public network.