Solar trackers help your solar panels move with the sun, like a sunflower following the sun across the sky. This allows the panels make more solar power, but these trackers are expensive.
Is it worth paying more for a solar tracker to get more solar power? Usually, it’s better to add more solar panels instead. In this article, we’ll discuss what solar trackers are, the types of solar trackers, and how solar trackers work.
A solar tracker is a device that automatically lines up solar panels or solar mirrors toward the sun to maximize the quantity of sunlight absorbed during the daytime. A solar tracker enhances the operational efficiency of solar energy systems by maintaining solar panels continually pointed toward the sun. Due to their dynamic orientation, which allows them to get sunlight at the proper angle, solar trackers gather a far more significant amount of solar energy than fixed, static solar systems.
There are different types of solar trackers, and each one tracks the sun’s movement differently. These include custom designs, dual-axis trackers, and single-axis trackers. These devices are frequently used in large-scale solar projects, such as solar farms and concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, to enhance energy output and improve system performance.
Solar trackers are available in different types, all of which are designed to enhance the solar energy absorption according to preset standards. Some types of solar trackers includes:
Heliostat: The specialized sun trackers named as heliostats are employed in CSP systems. They are generally employed in solar thermal power plants, where they reflect and focus sunlight onto a central receiver or collector.
Polar-aligned trackers are designed for regions closer to the poles, where the sun’s path varies significantly throughout the year. These trackers follow a polar axis to adjust for the changing solar angles.
Vertical solar trackers rotate panels vertically, tracking the sun’s elevation throughout the day. They are often used in conjunction with concentrating solar systems.
While not technically trackers, fixed-tilt solar panels are mounted at a fixed angle relative to the ground, optimized for a specific location’s latitude. They do not move to follow the sun but are designed for simplicity and cost-effectiveness.
A solar tracker’s installation is influenced by several criteria such as available space, budget, energy requirements, location, and tracker type, each of which has pros and cons. Utility-scale solar systems often use single-axis trackers, however applications where optimal efficiency is crucial employ dual-axis and customized trackers.
Similar to anything else, solar energy monitors have advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of solar trackers
Cons of solar trackers
Solar trackers work by adjusting the orientation of solar panels or collectors to continuously face the sun as it moves across the sky during the day. This tracking capability helps maximize the amount of sunlight that the panels receive, increasing the overall energy production of a solar system. The specific functioning of solar trackers can vary based on their type, but here is a general overview of how they work:
Light Sensors or Control Systems
Most solar trackers are equipped with light sensors or control systems that monitor the position of the sun in the sky. These sensors detect the sun’s direction and intensity.
Based on the data from the sensors, the solar tracker’s control system calculates the optimal angle and orientation for the solar panels to face the sun directly.
Mechanisms of Movement
The solar panels can be moved by solar trackers thanks to their mechanical or motorized systems. These systems can change based on the kind of tracker. As an illustration:
The solar tracker constantly moves the solar panels to maintain their alignment with the sun rotation the day. This minimizes the angle of incidence and maximizes energy absorption by ensuring that the panels get sunlight at the ideal angle.
Solar trackers greatly increase the efficiency of solar energy systems by following the sun. Directly facing solar panels have the potential to produce more heat or power than fixed panels, which are immobile and may not always be positioned perfectly.
When the day comes to a the end, some solar trackers could go back to their “morning” setup, prepared to follow the sun once more in the morning.
In conclusion, solar trackers work by utilizing sensors and control systems to modify the angle at which solar panels or collectors are oriented so that they are constantly facing the sun. Large-scale installations where optimizing energy production is essential will find solar energy systems especially helpful due to their dynamic tracking, which maximizes energy capture and boosts total system efficiency.
Adding solar trackers from “Just Doing Solar” to your solar energy system has a lot of advantages. They consist of higher energy output, improved system effectiveness, flexibility in various geographic settings, and a quicker payback period.