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.
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.
The Types Of Solar Trackers
There are Single Axis Solar Trackers which rotate on a single axis and help to move the tracker back and forth in a single direction. There are many varieties alone in the single solar tracker zone. Among the different types of single axis solar trackers, there are vertical, horizontal, tilted and polar aligned trackers which rotate according to the name which has been given to them. This means, the name and type actually specifies the function of the solar tracker.
Then there is the dual axis tracker which faces the sun continuously and it always move in two different directions. Among these dual solar trackers some of them are tip tilt solar trackers and the others are azimuth altitude solar trackers. Dual-axis tracking is typically used to orient a mirror and redirect sunlight along a fixed axis towards a stationary receiver. Because these trackers follow the sun vertically and horizontally they help obtain maximum solar energy generation.
There are also several methods of driving solar trackers. Passive trackers move from a compressed gas fluid driven to one side or the other. Motors and gear trains direct active solar trackers by means of a controller that responds to the sun’s direction. Finally, a chronological tracker counteracts the Earth’s rotation by turning in the opposite direction.
How to choose a solar tracker?
Choosing a Solar Tracker completely depends on the size of the system, the constraint of the land, the electric rates and of course the most important things are the latitude and weather. In case of large projects, where utility scale us very high; the installers mostly prefer single axis solar trackers. In case of residential applications, dual solar trackers are mostly used. If a solar tracker is needed in a place which has higher altitudes, the vertical trackers are used there because they can be adjusted according to angles.
Now a day, the use of solar trackers has increased a lot and it has been a great source of electricity production. If they are fixed in a certain angle and it faces the sun the whole day, a solar tracker can produce ample amount of solar energy. That is why; they are gaining popularity.