404 1 Axis Installation

Quick Start Guide

Complete Wiring & Power Up the Tracker IPm

NOTE: A hard copy of the quick start guide for brush-less motors can be downloaded here: Quick Start Guide hard copy

download

Down Load Tracker IPm Configuration Software

To begin with, down load the I/O Tool Kit software and install it on your Windows PC.You will be sent a TRACKERvxxx.6PJ project file and a registration file by email. Save them in an accessible folder on your PC. The best location would be C:/Program Files/SixnetTools/Projects

Run I/O Tool Kit

Install Registration

File / Import / Registration Info…

Go to the folder where you placed the registration file. Select the file then Open / OK / Close pop-up

Open Project

SelectComm

Figure 1 – Click for an enlarged view

File / Open Project

Go to the folder where you placed the project file. Select the file then Open

 

 

Connect to the Tracker IPm through a Serial Connection

Connect the RS232 port of your PC to the System RS232 Port B of the Tracker IPm. Most new PCs sold today no longer have the 9 pin serial port but a serial to .usB converter is readily available from your local computer score.

.use the RJ45 to RS232 converter that comes in the box with the Tracker IPm to connect an RJ45 patch cable to the RS232 Port B found on the top of the controller.

This is the recommended method to configure your Tracker IPm beca.use it allows connection without IP address issues sometime found on local networks. IC Systems can better provide direct support if your Ethernet port is free to access the Internet.

Device / Select…

Select the radio button “.use com port”

See Figure 1. to the right. The only change you may need to make may be the COM number. See the drop down for all detected ports. OK

 

Connect to the Tracker IPm through an Ethernet Connection

discover

Figure 3 – Click for enlarged View

Tracker IPms are generally shipped with the Ethernet port configured for DHCP. If your local network requires a static IP address, then you will not be able to connect. For the initial configuration, you should determine the IP address assigned by your router by .using the auto connect tool shown to the right.

To discover the IP address: Operations / Auto Detect EtherTRAK Stations…

If you are unable to easily connect to the Tracker IPm then it is highly recommended to connect by serial cable as previo.usly described.

To continue : Device / Select…

SelectEth

Figure 2 – Click for enlarged view

Select the radio button “.use Ethernet”

See Figure 2. to the right. Enter the IP address. OK

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Set Operating Parameters

Operations / Test I/O

A-INs

Figure 4 – Click for an enlarged view

The pop-up is represented in Figure 4 which has been cropped to fit this document. At the bottom, the TD & RD LEDs are represented. If they are not indicating communications, then you are not communicating with the Tracker IPm and this will time out with an error.

There are a number of Tabs at the bottom which this document will have you select to view or set parameters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set the Pulses Per Rotation

Select Tab L IN

Unless your Tracker IPm came from the factory preconfigured you m.ust do the following:

See Figure 5. ALT01_PPR and AZI01_PPR represents the number of pulses over a 360 degree rotation for Altitude and Azimuth respectively.

L-IN

L In – Click for enlarged view

Some drives provide this number. The tracking hardware does not need to rotate 360 degrees, it is a theoretical number.

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Example- A Kinematic 3″ Slew with a br.ush motor has the following specifications:

Motor pulses per full rotation: 2:1
Planetary Gear ratio: 236:1
Worm Gear: 62:1

Total Pulses Per Rotation = 2 x 236 x 62 = 29,264

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High light the I/O Value you wish to change, type in the new number. Enter

Also shown is ALTITUDE & AZIMUTH Latency. Leave these at the default 100 for now. These are .used to tune large trackers to prevent overshooting the desired position.

 

 

 

 

Set Location Parameters

Select Tab F IN

See Figure 6. Arrows indicate “Required Information”

F-INlocation

F IN – Click for an enlarged view

  • SPA_ELEV Elevation in meters (zero for sea level)
  • SPA_LATITUDE Latitude in decimals
  • SPA_LONGITUDE Longitude in decimals
  • SPA_PAVG Average local pressure in millibars (ie 1013 at sea level)
  • SPA_REFRACT Atmospheric refraction at sunrise and sunset (.usually 1)
  • SPA_ROTATION Surface azimuth rotation (.usually zero)
  • SPA_Slope Surface slope measured from horizontal (.usually zero)
  • SPA_TAVG Average local temperature (ie 30 deg C)
  • SPA_TD Not required
  • SPA_TZ Not required

High light the I/O Value you wish to change, type in the new number. Enter

Set Limits and Operational Parameters

Continue on Tab F IN

See Figure 6a Arrows indicate “Required Information”

Soft Limits
Soft limits will limit the tracker’s travel through software. If the calibration is in correct then the soft limits will be off by the same amount. You should always .use mechanical limit stops to prevent over travel and damage to the tracker.

Soft limits can be set inside or outside the travel range of the mechanical limits. There are good reasons to .use either strategy.

Inside will save wear on the limit switch mechanisms however if you intend to .use the Auto Cal Option then the soft limit for the minimum travel for both altitude and azimuth m.ust be outside the minimum mechanical switches. You can configure soft limits differently for both minimum and maximum travel.

F-INopts2

Figure 6 – Click for enlarged view

  • ALT_MAX_DEG default 90 deg. sets maximum upward travel limit
  • ALT_MIN_DEG default is zero, sets minimum upward travel limit (can be a negative number)
  • ALT_DB default is 0.2, sets the difference between the sun’s AL location and the tracker in degrees before a movement is made (smaller is more accurate but runs the motor more often)
  • AZI_MAX_DEG default 360 deg. sets maximum Westward travel limit
  • AZI_MIN_DEG default is zero, sets minimum Eastward travel limit
  • AZI_DB default is 0.2, sets the difference between the sun’s AZ location and the tracker in degrees before a movement is made (smaller is more accurate but runs the motor more often)

f you wish to utilize Auto Calibration do not enter a value for soft limits that would prevent the Tracker from contacting the minimum travel limit switches. See Auto Calibration section.

Analog Position Input

The present position of the drive can be determined from a pulse input (e.g., a Hall sensor) or from an analog input. If you are .using an analog feed back to position one or both of your motors enter the Scale Factor.

  • ALT_SCALE
  • ALT_OFFSET
  • AZI_SCALE
  • AZI_OFFSET

The analog inputs are 4-20 mA channels with a raw range of 0-32767. Example; a 90 deg inclinometer which is 4mA at Zero degrees and 20mA at 90 degrees would be 0.0027467 (90/32767).

If you have 4mA at Zero degrees and 20mA at 360 degrees then your Scale Factor would be 0.0109866 (36/32767).

SCALE determines the span of travel based on the signal. OFFSET is a constant in degrees which allows the .user to adj.ust the starting point or the Zero Position.

PV = SCALE * RAW_INPUT + OFFSET

Note: .using analog inputs m.ust be enabled by turning ON this option on Tab D I. The controller will accommodate one Axis being analog and the other pulse DI.

  • ALT_ANALOG
  • AZI_ANALOG

Sunset Stow Position

If you wish to have the Tracker go to a predefined position at sunset, enter the position in degrees. Enter -1 to stay in last position at sunset. If you wish to utilize Auto Calibration at each sunrise do not enter a value that would prevent the Tracker from making the minimum travel limit switches. See Auto Calibration section.

  • ALT01_STOW
  • AZI01_STOW

Soft Calibrate

D-OUT-Calibrate

D OUT – Click for an enlarged view

Select Tab D OUT

 

See Figure 7. The Tracker IPm is shipped in the manual mode for both Azimuth and Altitude. In order to calibrate, the following registers should read

  • ALT01_AUTO MAN
  • ALT01_CALIBRATE ON
  • AZI01_AUTO MAN
  • AZI01_CALIBRATE ON

To change the I/O Value, simply high light the register and toggle by clicking the OFF – ON at the top left of the pop-up.

To adj.ust the position the tracker is pointing, toggle the OFF – ON at the top left of the pop-up for these registers.

  • ALT01_UP Moves the altitude drive towards the horizon 90 degrees*
  • ALT01_DN Moves the altitude drive towards the zenith 0 degrees*
  • AZI01_UP Moves the azimuth drive towards the west (in the northern hemisphere)*
  • AZI01_DN Moves the azimuth drive towards the east (in the northern hemisphere)*

*(The UP & DN nomenclature is based on degrees, yet is counter intuitive to the .user. This will be changed in the next software revision)

See also AUTO CAL

D-OUT-track

It is recommended that once you have calibrated one axis, you put it into service before calibrating the other axis. To start tracking, the registers should read

  • ALT01_CALIBRATE OFF
  • ALT01_AUTO AUTO
  • AZI01_CALIBRATE OFF
  • AZI01_AUTO AUTO
  • TRK01_TRACK Track – This enable the SPA calculation and would not need to be turned off for calibration

Close the tool kit. The values are retained in non-volatile memory in case of a power loss. You should be tracking…

Power Supply Wiring Diagram

 

Single Phase AC

PowerSupply 1P

Three Phase ACPowerSupply 3P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auto Calibration

Requires version 3.00 and higher

This assumes that all Location and both axis Motor set up has been completed, wiring is completed and you are ready to track the sun.

Sometimes solar trackers can lose position due to mechanical slop, hysteresis or external forces. By enabling and configuring Auto Cal, the Tracker IPm now utilizes the lower limit switch to recalibrate the tracker each day. You store the memorized calibrated value of the limit switch in a non-volatile register which is passed to the present position value “Pv” whenever the switch is closed.

Tech Tip:

This will permit the tracker to recalibrate itself every morning or permit an operator to easily recalibrate remotely. Simply drive the tracker to the lower limit switch in Manual and return it to Auto and it is re-calibrated.

Set Up

You do not have to know the exact position of the lower limit switch to set it’s value. Simply estimate and calibrate it using the sun using this procedure.

Azimuth (Disregard for Single Axis or Parabolic Trough)

1. Either through the I/O Tool Kit’s Test I/O (Tab VDO) or Web Control, ENABLE Auto Calibration by turning on AZI01_AUTO_CAL.

2. Enter the approximate (estimated) azimuth in degrees of the minimum limit switch in AZIxx_ZERO. It does not have to be exact.

3. Now move the tracker to contact the limit switch. Put the Tracker IPm into MANUAL by turning off AZI01_AUTO and turning on AZI01_CALIBRATE.

4. Turn on AZI01_DN and wait for the tracker to stop moving when it contacts the limit switch. This is indicated by AZI01_ZMIN changing to On.

5. Turn off both AZI01_DN and AZI01_CALIBRATE

6. Turn on AZI01_AUTO. This should return the Tracker IPm to automatic tracking. This is when you calibrate the limit switch and you can do this any time while the tracker is in Auto.

7. If the tracker is not on sun, enter a value in degrees (including decimals) to AZI01_CORRECTION. The number can be a rough estimate and can be plus or minus depending which direct you want to go. By looking at the results, you can change this number as many times as needed until the tracker is on sun while AZI01_AUTO is in AUTO. Then you are done with azimuth Auto Cal. The next time the tracker contacts the limit switch it will add the correction to the limit switch’s azimuth and render it’s exact position in memory.

8. The calibration is complete. By repeating steps 3 – 6 you can prove the accuracy of the calibration.

Note the soft limit AZI_MIN_DEG and the AZI_MIN_DEG set  in I/O Tool Kit’s Test I/O (Tab VFI)  or Web Control must be a lower value than the calibrated value of the minimum limit switch otherwise the tracker will never reach the limit switch.

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Altitude (same procedure)

1. Either through the I/O Tool Kit’s Test I/O (Tab VDO) or Web Control, ENABLE Auto Calibration by turning on ALT01_AUTO_CAL.

2. Enter the approximate azimuth in degrees of the minimum limit switch in ALTxx_ZERO.

3. Now move the tracker to contact the limit switch. Put the Tracker IPm into MANUAL by turning off ALT01_AUTO and turning on ALT01_CALIBRATE.

4. Turn on ALT01_DN and wait for the tracker to stop. This is indicated by ALT01_ZMIN changing to On.

5. Turn off ALT01_DN and ALT01_CALIBRATE

6. Turn on ALT01_AUTO. This should return the Tracker IPm to automatic tracking. This is when you calibrate the limit switch but you can do this any time.

7. If the tracker is not on sun, enter a value in degrees (including decimals) to ALT01_CORRECTION. The number can be a rough estimate and can be plus or minus depending which direct you want to go. By looking at the results, you can change this number as many time needed until the tracker is on sun while ALT01_AUTO is in AUTO. The next time the tracker contacts the limit switch it will add the correction to the limit switch’s azimuth and render it’s exact position in memory.

8. The calibration is complete. By repeating steps 3 – 6 you can prove the accuracy of the calibration.

Note the soft limit ALT_MIN_DEG and the ALT_MIN_DEG set  I/O Tool Kit’s Test I/O (Tab VFI)  or Web Control must be a lower value than the calibrated value of the minimum limit switch otherwise the tracker will never reach the limit switch.

Standard Calibration 2 Axis

Standard Calibration is the simplest method of calibrating directly from tool kit.

This assumes that all Location and both axis Motor set up has been completed, wiring is completed and you are ready to track the sun.

Tech Note:

If you want to use Auto Cal do not use this procedure otherwise make sure Auto Cal is not enabled. See registers ALT01_AUTO_CAL and AZI01_AUTO_CAL on the same tab.

Select Tab D OUT

See Figure 7 below. In order to calibrate, the following registers should read;  (Disregard I/O Tag Names beginning with AZI for Single Axis or Parabolic Trough)

  • ALT01_AUTO                       MAN
  • ALT01_CALIBRATE                 ON
  • AZI01_AUTO                       MAN
  • AZI01_CALIBRATE                  ON
  • TRK01_TRACK                          ON

To change the the Auto/Manual & Calibrate registers, simply high light the register and toggle by clicking the OFF – ON at the top left of the pop-up.

To move the tracker to On-Sun, toggle the OFF – ON at the top left of the pop-up for these registers one axis at a time.

  • ALT01_UP Moves the altitude drive towards the horizon 90 degrees*
  • ALT01_DN Moves the altitude drive towards the zenith 0 degrees*
  • AZI01_UP Moves the azimuth drive in the clockwise direction.
  • AZI01_DN Moves the azimuth drive towards in the counter-clockwise direction.

It is best to calibrate one axis at a time and put it back into Auto immediately (the sun keeps moving). Make sure that the CALIBRATE register is turned off. You are now tracking.

TRK01_ENABLE must be on. This is set by a switch or jumper wire between terminal 5 and terminal 17. LED 9 with light when this circuit is complete.

Next Step: Auto Calibration

Set Location Parameters

This information is important for the accuracy of the tracking system. If you do not know the location’s Latitude, Longitude and elevation, then any GPS device including an automobile GPS  can give you what yo need.

Find your Latitude & Longitude by City

Select Tab F IN

See Figure below. Arrows indicate “Required Information”

  • SPA_ELEV Elevation in meters (zero for sea level)
  • SPA_LATITUDE Latitude in decimals
  • SPA_LONGITUDE Longitude in decimals
  • SPA_PAVG Average local pressure in millibars (ie 1013 at sea level)
  • SPA_REFRACT Atmospheric refraction at sunrise and sunset (usually 1)
  • SPA_ROTATION Surface azimuth rotation (usually zero)
  • SPA_Slope Surface slope measured from horizontal (usually zero)
  • SPA_TAVG Average local temperature (ie 30 deg C)
  • SPA_TD Not required
  • SPA_TZ Not required

High light the I/O Value you wish to change, type in the new number. Enter

If your latitude is below 23 1/2 deg. N then see:   Considerations for Latitudes between 23 ½ N and 23 ½ S

Next Step: Set Limits and Operational Parameters

Set Operating Parameters – Position Feedback

The Tracker IPm is a closed loop system which means it requires a position feedback in order to operate. It can be configured to accept motor pulse or 4-20mA analog position feedback. You can easily select a combination as well for those who have pulse feedback for the Azimuth motor but want an inclinometer with a 4-20mA output for the Altitude feedback.

You would use the Test I/O to configure parameters in the Tracker IPm.

Operations / Test I/O

The pop-up is represented below  has been cropped to fit this document. At the bottom, the TD & RD LEDs are represented. If they are not indicating communications by rapid blinking, then you are not communicating with the Tracker IPm and this will time out with an error message. If you have difficulties communicating, make sure the Tracker IPm is powered and connected properly and described in the previous section.

There are a number of Tabs at the bottom of this document which will allow you select and view or set parameters.

Set the Pulses Per Rotation

Select Tab L IN

Unless your Tracker IPm came from the factory pre-configured you must do the following:

See the Figure below.  ALT01_PPR and AZI01_PPR represents the number of pulses over a 360 degree rotation for Altitude and Azimuth respectively. The tracking mechanism does not need to rotate 360 degrees, it is just a theoretical number. For Single Axis PV or Parabolic Trough disregard the I/O Tags beginning with AZI01.

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Example- A Kinematics 3″ Slew Drive with a brush motor has the following  specifications:

Motor pulses per full rotation: 2:1
Planetary Gear ratio: 236:1
Worm Gear: 62:1

Total Pulses Per Rotation = 2 x 236 x 62  =  29,264

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High light the I/O Value you wish to change, type in the new number. Enter

While on this Tab, the ALT01_LATENCY & AZI01_LATENCY are advanced settings to tune larger tracking systems to prevent over  shooting the target position due to momentum. For now a default setting of 100 is recommended.

Next Step: Set Location Parameters

 

External Manual Control Switches

Tracker IPm now offers another way to calibration your tracker without a PC by using manual control switches.  If you wish to use external switches for manual control and calibration, this is an easy way to do so. Since the switches are connected to low voltage (24VDC) signal terminal, micro toggle switches can be used. Use 3 position toggle switches which are Normally Open – OFF – Normally Open. Toggle type is preferable to momentary.

The Auto / Manual switch required to operate the Tracker IPm is included here. This is a two position SPST toggle switch.

Note Tracker IPms running on software version 1026 / 2026 / 3026  and above allow calibration of the tracker using only the toggle switches.

FOR CONTROL SOFTWARE VERSIONS 2026 AND EARLIER

FOR CONTROL SOFTWARE VERSIONS 2026 AND EARLIER

 

 

FOR CONTROL SOFTWARE VERSIONS 2030 R2 AND ABOVE

FOR CONTROL SOFTWARE VERSIONS 2030 R2 AND ABOVE

Enabling Calibration Utilizing Manual Switches

Operations / Test I/O

Select Tab D OUT

Set MANUAL_CAL ON enManCal

With Auto/Manual switch set in Auto, simply move one axis at a time in the desired direction. Hold the switch in place for short periods to bring the tracker into position. Holding it down too long may cause the tracker to over shoot. The user may leave MANUAL_CAL ON or turn off to prevent unauthorized local changes to calibration.

With Auto/Manual in the Manual position, each switch will move the tracker in the desired direction temporarily but go back to its current tracking position when put back into Auto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Power Supply Sizing

Sizing your power supply to the Tracker IPm correctly is very important.

Note: By selecting the “Independent Motor Run” option in configuration, you need only to consider the current of one motor in a dual axis system.

Example:  A Kinematics SE3B-62M-24H01-RC 3 inch Slew drive with a 24H01 brushed motor.

This motor draws 2 – 3 Amps during intermittent and continuous operation but peak Amps can be up to 4.5 when starting the motor and may last only for a few milliseconds.

Adding up all the current draw:

  • 24H01 motor  4.5 A
  • mechanical relay 0.069 A
  • Tracker IPm 0.1 A

Total Amperage = 4.669 A

One might think a 5 Amp power supply would be sufficient but if you add solid state proximity switches, anemometers or other input devices that add load you could easily exceed the capacity of the power supply.

The result of an undersized power supply manifests itself in several ways. We must understand that when the current load of the circuit exceeds the rating of the power supply the voltage drops.

The first and most obvious is the chatter of the reverse mechanical relay because relays have a minimum voltage needed to power the coil. This is called drop out voltage and is often 80% of the coil voltage. So a 24VDC coil will drop out when the power supply voltage drops below 19.2 Volts. This is potentially damaging to the motor assembly and throws off calibration because the motor is running and changing direction rapidly until the voltage recovers.

The Tracker IPm has much more safety margin since it can operate between 10-30 VDC so a slight voltage drop which may affect the relay might not affect the controller. Typically if the voltage drops below 10 volts for a long enough period you will simply reboot the Tracker IPm.  The dip can also be so fast that it negatively affect the processors and causes a communications error in both the Serial and Ethernet ports. This may require a reset of the system comm ports.

Our recommendation is to have a 30% safety margin. In this example a 10 Amp power supply is highly recommended.

 

Set Operational Limits 2 Axis

The following instructions apply to locations above 23 1/2 degrees N and below 23 1/2 degrees south.

There are 3 Operational Limits to implement

  1. Soft Limits
  2. Mechanical or Proximity Limit Switches
  3. Night Stowage Setting

Soft limits will limit the tracker’s travel through software on both axis. If the calibration with the sun is incorrect then the soft limits will be off by the same amount so it is important calibrate the controller  before setting the soft limits. The soft limits add a degree of redundancy as a back up to mechanical limit switches. They can be configured to prohibit travel inside or outside the range of travel between the mechanical switches. Settings can be between 0-360 degrees Azimuth axis and -10 to 180 degrees Altitude axis.

SoftLimitsAZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside the HARD LIMIT SWITCH MAX as shown in Figure 1 &  2, the tracker will stop prior to reaching the switch.
This might be used to save wear on the mechanical switch.

SoftLimitsAL

Outside the HARD LIMIT SWITCH MIN, the tracker will stop when it encounters the mechanical switch. This is selected when Auto Cal is in use or as a backup to the switch.

Mechanical or Proximity Limit Switches are wired to the controller and provide physical limits to the tracker’s travel. These should be located at the furthest point the Tracker should ever travel. The Tracker IPm will operate without limit switches but it is not recommended.

You should always use mechanical limit  or proximity switches to prevent over travel which could cause personal injury, damage the tracker or to nearby structures.

Test Limit Switches thoroughly prior to putting the tracker into service.

For increase accuracy and reliability, when Auto Cal is selected for each axis, the controller will re zero itself each time it touches the minimum limits. It is important to always  set the soft limit outside the mechanical switch position. Read more more on configuring Auto Cal …

 Night Stowage Setting moves the tracker to a pre-set position at sunset. If the position is outside either the soft or mechanical limits, the tracker will stop at the limit it encounters first and never reach the configured stowage position. Read more on configuring Night Stowage …

 

Continue on Tab F IN

F-IN-limit1

Click for enlarged view

See Figure below.  Arrows indicate “Required Information” Disregard I/O Tag Names beginning with AZI for Single Axis or Parabolic Trough.

Next Step:  Sunset Storage Position