solar tracker fabrication

In a previous post, I started rambling on about the basic design of a scaled solar tracker we were building as a demonstration.  The Google Sketchup design ended up something like this…

solar tracker 4

Since mechanical fabrication is not our specialty, we cheated a bit and printed scaled “cut-outs” of various pieces to cut and drill.  Using SketchUp to do this saved quite a bit of time determining hole and edge layout during fabrication.

Here is a picture of the slewing drive used to rotate the panels.

slew drive

The panel mounting mechanism shown above is mounted to one side of this drive; a stationary base (typically a pole) is attached to the other.  Six 10mm bolts are used on each side in a radial pattern, so this is where the patterns become useful.


After a fair amount of cutting, drilling, grinding, and a bit of welding, the first half of the base is ready to test for fit.

init base

The completed assembly will be described in a future post.


  1. kenneth harnage sr. says:

    i am pretty new at this solar stuff , but i am really deep into it now, i do my own little welding progects , and wanted to see if i can get get some great ideas . just wanted to say you guys do a really good job..thanks

  2. Marc Villarreal says:

    Hi, Awesome deisgn. What is the part number to your slewing drive. Thanks so much.

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