Smart Shade

Smart Shade is new technology in real time data acquisition and positioning for solar cells and commercial shading


During my time at the University of Missouri, I find myself frequenting restaurants downtown, and sitting outside either on a patio or the rooftop. Nothing is more bothersome and irritating then the sunlight blinding myself while I am trying to enjoy a nice meal. This would be the problem that would inspire something far greater. As all engineers do we problem solved. This would inspire the first concept for the Smart Shade. Smart Shade is a device that can take both visible light and heat input. With this information it is able to determine a path to take in order to center the intensity of the input. What this means is that our device always faces the source. So for instance, if I wanted my umbrella to always shade me, it can use our algorithm to always shade me. The more ingenious application would pertain to solar cells. \n \n Solar panels are 40-60 % more efficient when they move to fully face the sun as it moves across the sky. Our device would do exactly that. There already exists technology that automates the motion of the semiconductors, however there does not exist one that is sensitive to real time data. This means that for every panel they have to manually calculate the path in order to optimize the exposure of the cells to the sun. With our software and sensors we could give these to non-technical users and still be able to operate them. Our system runs using a Tessel with its corresponding ambient and climate modules for the data acquisition. It outputs into servos that manipulate the position as needed.

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