Managing heat inside the tracking box in hot climates

Today on the call someone brought up a concern about heat build-up inside the tracking box. While researching another project I stumbled across something called a Stevenson screen. This is a sort of shelter that, among other things, allows out-door thermometers to get accurate ambient air temp readings while in direct sunlight. I don’t know that this is the right solution but it is simple. I imagine that something could be constructed out of light plywood that could slip over the outter shell of the tracking box to keep it cooler. Also, this could help make the current V2 box design more resilient without a radome as direct water contact would be reduced.

The history:

Some cheap implementations:

In my mind the radome is going to be necessary more for the protection of the antenna elements and structure as a whole in strong winds, rather than protecting from the rain. I feel like I can do a good enough job of sealing the v2 box from water… but structurally I wonder if a good 50mph+ gust would compromise the gears inside by putting too much pressure on the antennas.

It is a very good suggestion and actually in issue, especially with the core team in Greece and other people in nice sunny countries :sunny: :wink: The sun can be quite hot …

I think for starters we can do simple measures like using a white or silver color to refract light. Then it becomes tricky. The only way I can imagine to reach real temperature rigidity would be to place electronics at another location, and only have the motors and antenna mounted on the tracker.

Yeah, thinking more about the radome it can easily become a greenhouse and keep heat… hmm

We could shield the electronics box with mylar sheets (google “mylar emergency blanket”)

It will reflect most of the heat, the people at the CCC Camp uses these for their datenkloset, to keep them cool when the sun heats:

Hrm, that might be a good thing to wrap the radome with too. Maby a layer of plastic shrink-wrap and then a layer of “emergency blanket” :-).

And on that note, a “split radome” design might be nice too. Then you can wrap each half independantly. Because as soon as you finish with the mylar, you will realize that you forgot to do something to your tracking box. Or you just scale your radome so big that you can crawl inside of it too :-).

BoPet what you are talking about, Mylar just beeing a brand name. That stuff is itself not UV-resistant comes up as first sentence in my wikipedia :wink: The one you probably talk about is the one with alumium inside … The specific emergency blankets. That probably is a very good way to shield the electromagnetic waves …