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Single-axis solar tracker: operating scheme, types, cost and all useful information before purchase. From the do-it-yourself solar tracker to the latest generation products on the market.
What is a solar tracker for?
L'solar trackerorient the photovoltaic panels always positioning them in the best direction to absorb as much light radiation as possible. A solar tracker can offer an increase in the yield of the photovoltaic system of over 40%. Existuniaxial solar trackersand biaxial. The two-axis are the ones that yield the most but are characterized by higher purchase costs, the single-axis trackers are cheaper but in this case the yield only rarely goes beyond 25% compared to fixed solar panels.
Types of single-axis solar trackers
The thensunaxial solar trackers, in particular, they track light radiation by rotating around a single axis and, based on the orientation of the axis, they can be classified into different categories, we have as follows:
- – Single-axis solar tilt tracker
They are also called locking trackers. They rotate around the axisEast West, that is, they cover the angle of tilt. This angle varies according to the hours of the day and according to the seasons. This tracker covers solar radiation by tracking the height of the sun in the sky. The angle variation is performed manually twice a year.
- – Single-axis solar roll tracker
It follows the sun during its journey in the celestial vault but only in the central hours of the day. It is equipped with over-mechanisms and to avoid periods of shade, it reverses the movement of the structure during the hours of sunrise and sunset.
- – Single-axis solar azimuth tracker
The mechanism is very simple as the panels rotate around a vertical axis placed perpendicular to the ground on which the system is installed. In this case, the axis of the solar panel varies but not the inclination of the same.
- – Polar axis monoaxial solar tracker
As the name suggests, this single-axis solar tracker follows light radiation by rotating around the axis parallel to the north-south axis of rotation of the earth (polar axis).
Single-axis solar tracker, advantages
Should you choose a single-axis solar tracker? It all depends on the type of system and above all on its location. Among the advantages ofsingle-axis solar trackersfigure the low cost of production and installation (so these are cheap solar trackers but more suitable for large photovoltaic parks). The cheapest, characterized by a low purchase cost, is the solar roll tracker.
The azumut single-axis solar trackers they are recommended for high latitudes, where the sun never reaches high heights in the celestial vault. The solar tilt trackers are those with the lowest costs on the market and a further advantage lies in the lack of mechanical movements and therefore lower maintenance costs.
The best monoaxial solar tracker is the polar axis one: it is more efficient and therefore more productive. This polar axis solar tracker, however, has a flaw: structurally it is subject to high maintenance, especially in areas where there is wind where it does not work at full capacity.
Among the latest products on the market we highlight theTRJ single-axis trackera system able to move the solar panels according to the position of the sun which allows a yield of 25% higher than that of fixed panels. This latest generation single-axis solar tracker is equipped with a GPS system capable of determining the optimal inclination of the panel. Among its advantages, we point out that it is a low maintenance system and thanks to a steel support it can be securely installed even on the most difficult terrain and on inclined surfaces. With the next update (scheduled for 2017), thesingle-axis solar trackerTRJ will also be equipped with power supply and wireless (wireless) supervision system. This technology is currently used in large solar parks in the US and Latin America, particularly in Chile and Brazil.
DIY solar tracker: diagram and instructions
For the operating diagram and instructions for building a DIY single-axis solar tracker, please visit the website of the engineer Giorgio De Murtas, on the page dedicated to the electronic control scheme of the DIY solar tracker.