What is a solar tracker?
Solar tracker, also known as a mechanism that places an item at an angle concerning the Sun.
Positioning photovoltaic (PV) panels, also known as Solar panel insurance, so they remain perpendicular to the Sun’s rays is one of the most common applications for solar trackers. Another common application is positioning space telescopes to determine the direction in which the Sun is pointing.
PV solar trackers adjust the orientation of a solar panel so that it always faces the Sun regardless of where it is in the sky. By maintaining a panel orientation perpendicular to the Sun, more light will be absorbed by the solar panel, while the amount of reflected light will be reduced. This energy has the potential to be transformed into usable electricity.
Solar tracking is the process of determining the position of the Sun about the item being aligned using sophisticated sensors.
Computers are also used in some of these instruments.
Studies have revealed that the angle of light striking a solar panel may alter the amount of electricity it produces. Compared to a solar panel that is not perpendicular to the Sun, a solar panel that is perpendicular to the Sun generates significantly more power. However, smaller ones have less impact on the amount of energy that can be generated compared to larger angles. In addition, the Sun’s angle shifts from east to west daily and from north to south with the seasons. Consequently, tracking in an east-to-west direction is necessary, but tracking in a north-to-south order has a less significant impact.
Solar trackers offer several significant benefits to the renewable energy industry. Increases in power output of approximately 30 to 40 per cent are possible with the use of solar tracking. The expansion of solar power’s potential customer base should result from the rise in its electricity production.
What is a disadvantage?
There are several significant drawbacks associated with solar trackers.
A guarantee on a stationary solar panel may last for decades, and the board itself could need very little to no maintenance. Solar trackers, on the other hand, come with much shorter warranties and need one or more actuators to move the panel.
These moving elements drive up installation costs and lower system dependability, and active tracking systems may also use a marginal amount of energy (passive systems do not require additional power).
Again, this is because computer-based algorithm solar trackers use parts that may be difficult to replace in relatively short periods.
Different Solar Tracking System Types
Solar tracking systems can be categorised based on the type of motion they utilise.
A moving surface typically has three axes: two horizontal axes and one vertical axis.
It is possible to tilt the surface by rotating it around each axis to achieve the optimal angle for absorbing the most sunlight possible. Know about Solar-Powered Inventions: Solar Powered Tree.
Single-axis tracking is the term used to describe the process in which movement or adjustment of the surface occurs by rotating around one axis.
On the other hand, the process is referred to as dual-axis tracking when it occurs when the rotation of the surface occurs around two axes at the same time.
System for Single-Axis Tracking
The Sun’s direction is often tracked using single-axis trackers as they travel from east to west across the sky.
Trackers that operate on a single axis use a single angle as their primary axis of rotation. As a result, a tracker of this sort can boost overall power generation by more than 30 per cent.
Solar Tracking System with Two Axes
Dual-axis trackers feature two rotation axis degrees, one of which is referred to as the “main axis,” while the other is referred to as the “secondary axis.”
Throughout the day, the rotating axis may travel either downwards or upwards to react to the changing angles of the Sun.
Dual-axis tracking enables the most exact alignment of the solar device. It is believed to deliver 40% greater output via energy absorption and makes it possible to monitor both axes simultaneously. On the other hand, these solar trackers are more challenging to build and more costly.
Other Solar Tracker Types:
- Passive Trackers
The compressed gas fluid used in passive solar trackers has a low boiling point and spins to one side or the other in reaction to an imbalance.
This orientation is not ideal for concentrating photovoltaic (PV) collectors, although it is OK for more standard PV panels.
- Active Trackers
Alternatively, active trackers are driven by motors and gears in response to the Sun’s inclination with the help of a controller.
The motors can only be utilised when essential due to their energy consumption.