the sun tracker – component 5 of 9

Big Ben, London’s iconic mechanical clock located at the north end of the palace of Westminster, celebrated 150 years of tick-tocking  may 2009

mechanical clock Big Ben's been ticking for 150 years

Big Ben is a very good example of a well executed time proven design that takes advantage of  precise mechanical objects including weights pulleys gears levers chains etc

here’s the bevel work that drives the hour minute hands on each of the four faces of the clock

mechanics driving hands on each of the 4 clock faces

here’s the auto winder that winds the strike and chime

the gong train is still wound by hand. all windable mechanics are wound three times a week taking about an hour and a half each time. winding has to stop for the quarterly chimes

Big Ben has been keeping accurate time for over 150 years!

granted, Big Ben requires and receives periodic maintenance

but it is also a massive and complex machine, requiring the precise and timely movement of many heavy objects tirelessly day after day hour after hour minute after minute…

if durable Big Ben can be designed and built, a simple mechanical single axis tracker with a minimum lifetime of 50 years certainly can


About Vishwa Narayan

who can live without water? drinking water for all is my goal, through Theertham, a not-for-profit organization i founded and registered in Texas. you can reach me at
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