I want to throw out a project idea I have had for a a long time. I am interested in any feedback you have to offer.
I am very interested in creating a DIY solar tracker and making the plans freely available to anyone who wants them.
A solar tracker essentially determines where the sun is in the sky and then drives actuators to point something at the sun - presumably solar panels or mirrors but perhaps also an Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator.
I have seen DIY analog electronic projects that use two pair of light sensing diodes. A pair of diodes on each of two axis determines which direction is brighter and drives the actuators to move the whole assembly. This is generally accurate with the exception of extreme overcast weather and nighttime. I assume that it would be really easy to reproduce a more intelligent version of this using a FEZ and some sensors.
The other idea that I think would be a lot more fun would be to use a GPS to determine lat, long and time of day. From these variables you can do the math to figure out where in the sky the sun should be. Unfortunately I am too new to the concept of sensors to even know what is available. I assume that there is some sort of compass sensor, correct?
Frankly I am just blown away that this kind of project has not been done yet (that I can tell) and that the solar calculation code is not abundantly available.
Anyway, I am just throwing this idea out there to see if there is any interest or suggestions.