A solar tracker is a device that adjusts the angle of solar panels such that they face the sun as it moves across the sky. The trackers change the orientation of the solar panels such that they receive direct sunlight. This increases the amount of solar energy that is captured and stored. Panels that have solar trackers are better than those that don’t. This is because they are able to deliver more energy. What is the science behind these devices? Read on to learn more.
The science behind solar trackers
These devices are fitted on solar panel systems or fittings. Also known as photovoltaic systems, they utilize panels to capture sunrays and convert them into electricity. The solar trackers adjust the positioning of the panel so that it faces the sun throughout the day. By doing this, the angle of incidence is significantly reduced. This is the angle that the sunrays make in relation to a line perpendicular from the surface of the solar panel. The trackers are able to reduce this angle and increase the amount of energy that the solar panel generates.
Solar trackers are used on photovoltaic systems as well as concentrated solar thermal systems. They are effective in helping the installations receive sunrays directly and thus create more energy. Here are some additional characteristics of solar panels fitted with trackers.
Characteristics of solar trackers
Higher solar energy generation
Solar panels that have trackers generate more energy than fixed panels. They are able to do this because they experience more direct exposure to the sun. They can generate between 10% and 25% more energy than standard fixed solar panels when placed at a geographically optimum area. These panels can also be arranged such that the overall system has a low Ground Coverage Ratio (GCR). This means that the panels are installed far apart. This maximizes their energy output. Therefore, a solar tracker system offers you the best GCR values.
Variety of tracker technologies
Solar trackers are available in many types. These include:
- Single-axis trackers
- Dual-axis trackers
Single-axis solar trackers rotate on one axis moving back and forth in a single direction. Different types of single-axis trackers include horizontal, vertical, tilted, and polar aligned, which rotate as the names imply. Dual-axis trackers continually face the sun because they can move in two different directions. Types include tip-tilt and azimuth-altitude.
A single-axis solar tracker rotates on one axis. It moves forward and backward along a single direction. Thus, the tracker can be set to move horizontally, vertically, tilt and align with the poles. On the other hand, a dual-axis solar tracker can move in two directions. They can azimuth according to altitude and also tip-tilt.
These different types of trackers can fit the needs of each individual jobsite. The right choice of solar tracker can be installed according to the weather, the latitude, electrical capability and the size of the solar panel system. In addition to that, the solar tracker systems are able to produce more energy than fixed panels per unit area. This means they utilize the land at an optimum rate.
They can help to increase income
There are some states around the world that buy solar energy from companies or individuals who have panel systems. According to the Time of Use (TOU) plan, the states will buy energy generated at peak time periods at a higher cost. The solar tracker systems are able to produce massive amounts of solar energy at peak time of the day. This results in maximum revenue for the owner of the solar tracker system.
Solar tracker systems are more efficient that fixed solar panel systems. They generate more solar energy due to their unique characteristics. They are a better option.
Milo Freedman is a solar panel engineer. He observes that solar trackers have the best GCR values in the industry. He contributed significant knowledge in this report. To learn more about solar panels, visit this blog here.