Thermal actuator can be applied in the field of solar tracking and wind power generation.
The wind turbine has a relatively complex mechanical structure, which includes a cooling system similar to the oil cooler of a car. Accordingly, thermal actuator is also required to control the opening and closing of the cooling system.
In the morning, solar tracker faces east at a 45 degree angle. When the sun rises, thermal actuator begins to collect heat. This causes paraffin heating and expansion, which in turn forces the piston inside the actuator to go outward. The piston pushes the cam tube, which has a spiral incision that converts linear motion into rotational motion.
When the whole component is slightly away from the sun, the heat is stopped to be applied to the receiver, paraffin stops expanding, and the system stops spinning westward. Then, the sun "chased" back to the receiving angle of the system, causing the wax to continue heating and expanding, and the device rotated to the west again. This incremental motion is repeated in a day.
Once the sun falls on the western horizon, the maximum stroke of the system reaches, paraffin cooling, volume contraction and piston retracting. It extends eastward through gravity and returns to its starting position.