Solar energy is a vast, abundant, cost-free, green renewable source of energy. Climate change and the exponential growth of energy demand are calling for more optimized ways to harness this energy.
The use of solar energy can be encouraged in several ways, both with government-level subsidies and incentives as well as more efficient photo-voltaic equipment. A solar PV tracker allows solar panels to follow the sun’s path in the sky and hence support the production of more solar power.
Below, we will explain everything you need to know about solar trackers. We will also review how we at MORNSUN can help you with your solar panel projects.
What is a solar tracker?
A solar tracker is a device that follows the sun as it moves across the sky. When solar trackers are coupled with solar panels, the panels can follow the sun’s path and produce more renewable energy. Solar trackers are typically used for ground-mounted solar panels and large, free-standing solar installations like solar trees.
Solar tracking equipment is usually connected to the racking of solar panels. From there, the solar panels will be able to move along with the movement of the sun. The way a solar tracker moves depends on the type of system used. Overall, there are three types of sun-tracking systems:
- Manual solar trackers
As the name suggests, manual trackers require someone to physically adjust the panels at different times throughout the day to follow the sun. This isn’t always practical, as you need someone to constantly monitor the sun and change the position of the solar panel system.
- Passive solar trackers
Passive trackers contain a liquid with a low boiling point that will evaporate when exposed to solar radiation. When the liquid evaporates, the tilt system becomes imbalanced. This imbalance causes the panels to tilt towards the direction of the sun’s rays.
- Active solar trackers
Active trackers rely on motors or hydraulic cylinders to change position. The motors in active trackers will move the PV panels, so they are facing the sun. While this is more convenient than manual trackers, the moving parts within the motors could easily break. This could lead to higher maintenance costs over the lifetime of the system.
From there, solar trackers can be categorized even further, based on which direction they move. Therefore, you can choose between:
- Single-axis solar tracker
- Dual-axis solar tracker
Single-axis solar tracker
Single-axis trackers follow the position of the sun as it moves from east to west. These are usually used in utility-scale projects. A horizontal single-axis solar tracking system can increase energy production between 25% to 35%.
Dual-axis solar tracker
This type of photo-voltaic tracker not only tracks the sun as it moves east to west but also follows it as it moves from north to south. Two-axis trackers are more common among residential and small commercial solar projects with limited space, so they can produce enough power to meet their energy needs. A dual-axis solar tracking system can increase energy production by about 40%.
What are the benefits of adding solar trackers to your PV equipment?
A PV tracking system helps generate more electricity by maximizing the energy production of solar panels. Solar tracking systems are especially helpful when dealing with variable electricity rate plans (like time-of-use). More electricity production translates to the need for fewer panels, which in turn results in less space needed for your solar setup.
Solar trackers offer the greatest value proposition in high latitude locations due to the yearly movements of the sun. Solar tracking systems are often used in large commercial projects, typically over 1 megawatt (MW).
Solar tracking systems tend to cost more money than standard-fixed solar panel systems and require more maintenance than fixed-mount solar panels. However, for commercial-scale solar arrays, the long-term benefit of increased production over time is enough to make the initial cost and maintenance fees worth it. Additionally, commercial-scale solar projects are typically ground-mounted, making solar trackers a viable option.
How can MORNSUN help?
Considering the high installation and maintenance costs, you need a sun-tracking system with the highest cost performance and power efficiency. For this reason, most solar tracking equipment owners opt for PV String-powered solutions to cut unnecessary costs.
MORNSUN’s PV String-powered solutions for solar tracking systems do not require additional PV panels and power supply lines. This way, you can maximize the power generation of your PV equipment for higher efficiency and lower costs.
The diversity of environments in which PV solar trackers can be used requires specific operating temperatures, high altitude performance, and input anti-reverse protection. The MORNSUN PV power solutions are designed to meet all these requirements of ultra-high input range, high isolation, safety standards and more. Additionally, our PV power converters are powered directly by the high-voltage bus. They simplifies the system design and eliminates the need for additional PV panels and power lines.
Below are some of the key characteristics of the MORNSUN PV String-powered solutions for solar trackers:
- High isolation withstand with their voltage-reinforced insulation;
- High input voltage range between 200-1000V/1500V;
- Input reverse protection to avoid an incorrect input wiring;
- Safety design and certification compliance to meet the requirements for safety distance, insulation, and more;
- Wide allowable operating temperature and altitude range to ensure reliable performance even in harsh environments;
Click here to view more details about the MORNSUN PV String-powered solutions for solar trackers. If you are interested in learning more about our PV power supply solutions, you can read more details in our white paper.
Solar trackers are rising in popularity, but not everyone understands the full benefits of the system. Solar panel tracking solutions are a more advanced technology for mounting photovoltaic panels and maximizing their energy output.
While slightly more expensive than their stationary counterparts, solar trackers are a great fit for large and small project sites under the proper location and site conditions. When designing your solar project circuit, don’t take lightly the choice of your PV power supply.
Rely on qualified power supply manufacturers to ensure a long life span and constant energy output of your solar panels. Contact us at MORNSUN to request more details about our PV String-powered solutions for solar trackers.