Jose Camacho, Zeyuan Jin, Evan Lynch, Cailey Porter , Akshay Ramakrishnan, McCauley Redding, Samuel Stahl
Abstract : The goals of the Belt Equipped Solar Tracker (B.E.S.T.) are to stay as simple and inexpensive as possible while still providing a remote heliostat module capable of reflecting light to a desired location accurately and efficiently. The inspiration for the B.E.S.T. was a combination of 2021 Summer Group 1’s design and updated 2022 design requirements. The B.E.S.T. utilizes a belt driven system in conjunction with two NEMA 17 stepper motors to operate the two-axis rotation. The advantages of using a belt driven system are no backlash and, conveniently, much less noise pollution compared to gear driven assemblies. The identical 25:1 belt reductions provide 25 times greater torque and angular resolution than the input. The B.E.S.T. is capable of 270 degrees of rotation in the azimuth axis and 180 degrees in the elevation axis. Bearings are used on all rotational functional surfaces to reduce friction and wear while increasing output capabilities. The compact body composed of PETG plastic saves space while achieving a robust profile capable of withstanding the maximum wind speed recorded in the desired implementation location. The total price for one B.E.S.T., including the ordered components and PETG 3D printing filament, is $56.85. This design is cost effective, has a long lifetime, and meets the performance specifications laid out in an efficient and innovative way.