When designing and installing a solar power system for your property, you have several unique ways to choose. But if you prefer to have a ground-mounted solar panel installation, it would be better to consider a solar tracking system so you can get the maximum amount of sunlight to power your house. For today’s article, we will discuss what a solar tracker is, its type, how this tracking system works, and is it ideal for your solar project.
What are Solar Trackers?
A solar tracker is a device use to direct solar PV modules toward the sun to emit a maximum amount of sunlight. Generally, these solar devices automatically change their orientation throughout the day to follow the sun’s path across the to maximize solar energy capture. Solar trackers are usually used with solar panel systems, particularly ground-mounted solar panels and other large-capacity and free-standing solar power installations like solar farms.
Through this device, the PV panels can directly follow the sun’s pathway to generate more solar energy, powering your entire commercial and industrial property. It is not common in most small solar projects like in the residential areas since it entails a high price tag, which is not that ideal for homeowners.
Types of Solar Tracker
Solar trackers are usually categorized based on which direction they move. A solar tracker can be either Single-axis solar tracker or Dual axis solar tracker.
- Single-axis solar tracker
Single-axis trackers follow the sun’s orientation, moving from east to west. They also have different types, such as horizontal, vertical, tilted, and polar aligned, which move as the names suggest. These solar trackers are typically used in large utility-scale solar projects. A single-axis tracker can increase solar power production between 25% to 35%.
Dual-axis solar tracker does not only moves from east to west but also follows the sun’s movement in the north and south direction. Usually, these solar trackers constantly face the sun and can move in two different directions, namely tip-tilt and azimuth altitude. They are more common among residential and small commercial properties that have limited ground space.
How Does Solar Tracker Works?
A solar tracking system maximizes your solar panel system’s power production by tracking and moving the PV panels to follow the sun’s orientation throughout the day. They usually optimize the angle at which your solar panels receive solar energy.
Typically, a solar tracking device is connected to the racking system of the solar panels. From there, it allows the solar PV panels to move along with the movement of the sun. Generally, the solar tracking system movements are dependent on what type of solar tracking equipment is used.
How Much Does a Solar Tracker Cost?
Solar trackers can greatly increase the cost of a photovoltaic solar installation. Solar tracker costs depend on many factors like its type, solar mounting type, and the number of panels. To give you an estimate the solar tracking equipment can cost around $500 per panel to more than $1,000 per panel.
Is Solar Tracker Worth your Investment?
In most cases, the solar tracker device is not worth additional investment for your solar projects, particularly for small solar projects like residential ones. Although they help in generating more solar power, their cost can adversely add to the final cost of your solar panels. Solar trackers only become valuable when you have a large utility-scale but have very limited space to install a lot of solar panels. But if you have enough space for additional solar panels, then a solar tracker is not that advisable to have.