Solar tracking is orienting solar panels to follow the sun's path. The solar panels rotate throughout the day to capture maximum energy from the sun's rays. Solar tracking systems are designed to maximize the efficiency of solar energy capture and increase overall solar energy production.
How does a solar tracking system work?
At the heart of a solar tracker is an electronic control unit that contains tracking algorithms and sensors to measure the sun's position. This unit is connected to two main actuators: motors or gears that move the solar panels and adjusters that change the pitch and tilt of the panel. Motors and gears move the entire sun tracking solar panel while adjusters change the angles of the individual panels within the array. The tracking algorithms in the control unit take data from the sensors and calculate when to move the solar panel array to keep the solar panels in optimal positions. Most systems use two sensors to measure light intensity and direction to ensure solar panels capture as much energy as possible. Depending on how often you want to reposition your panels, you can choose a single or dual axis tracking system. A single axis solar tracker tracks the sun’s east-west movement, while a dual axis solar tracker also tracks its north-south movement.
The benefits of solar tracking
Solar sun trackers are designed to optimize the positioning of solar panels for maximum energy absorption. Constantly tracking the sun increases solar panels' energy output, producing more energy with fewer panels and reducing installation costs. Solar panel trackers reduce shading losses, which occur when a shadow is cast on the panel. As panels move throughout the day, shadows are avoided, maximizing their potential energy production. Many panel trackers are built with durable materials designed to last. Most systems don't require regular maintenance and can be programmed to operate automatically. Since a solar panel tracking system automatically moves solar panels, there's no need for manual maintenance or adjustments. This eliminates the risk of electric shock and other potential hazards. Because a solar tracking mount is pre-programmed to follow the sun, it eliminates the need for complex calculations during installation. This makes it easier and faster to install than a fixed-tilt system.