A solar tracker is something which directs solar panels towards the direction of the sun. This is a special device which helps in changing the orientation of the panel and helps them to face the sun as it changes direction throughout the day; it helps them to follow the sun’s path.
Why Solar Trackers?
In photovoltaic systems, trackers help minimize the angle of incidence (the angle that a ray of light makes with a line perpendicular to the surface) between the incoming light and the panel, which increases the amount of energy the installation produces. Concentrated solar photovoltaic’s and concentrated solar thermal have optics that directly accepts sunlight, so solar trackers must be angled correctly to collect energy. All concentrated solar systems have trackers because the systems do not produce energy unless directed correctly toward the sun.
Finding the right tracker involves making decisions on a number of variables, from the terrain to the climate to the type of solar panels you’ll be using. Single-axis and dual-axis trackers are two styles of trackers that engineers often use on the job site. Each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and you’ll need to familiarize yourself with those before making a decision for any job site.
The Types Of Solar Trackers and Advantages- Disadvantages Of Using Them
Single Axis Solar Trackers have a single degree of flexibility that serves as an axis of rotation. This is usually aligned along a North-South path, but it is possible to align them in any cardinal direction.
Advantages of using single axis solar trackers are as follows
- Generally a lower cost than dual axis solar trackers.
- Higher lifespan than dual axis trackers.
- Higher reliability than dual axis solar trackers.
Disadvantages of using single axis solar trackers are as follows
- Lower energy output during sunny conditions when compared to dual axis solar trackers
- On the other hand, dual axis trackers allow for two degrees of flexibility, offering a much wider range of motion. The primary and secondary axes work together to allow these trackers to point the solar panels at specific points in the sky.
- It has fewer technological advancements
Advantages of using dual axis solar trackers are as follows.
- Higher degree of accuracy in directional pointing.
- Higher degree of flexibility, allowing for a higher energy output on sunny days.
Disadvantages of dual axis trackers are as follows.
- Lower lifespan and lower reliability
- Higher mechanical complexity, making it more likely for something to go wrong
- Unreliable performance in cloudy or overcast weather
Single Axis Solar Trackers tend to be better for companies with a lower budget or for areas with frequent cloud cover. Dual axis solar trackers tend to be better for areas with high levels of direct sun. Ultimately, the right tracker comes down to the individual application. Depending on the budgetary restrictions of your client, the terrain and climate, and the required lifespan, you’ll need to make the most appropriate decision.