Solar Trackers Help Panels Follow the Sun: AENERT

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AENERT SNIP: One of the options to substantially increase the efficiency of solar technologies is the implementation of trackers, devices that follow the solar position and correspondingly orient photovoltaic panels or mirror reflectors.

There is a multi-level classification of trackers based on their functional capabilities.

First of all, passive and active trackers can be distinguished.

In the latter case special actuating mechanisms such as electric motors or hydraulic devices are used for mechanical movement of solar elements.

Another important classification feature of trackers is the number of axes around which the adjustment can be performed. Here, main options are Single Axis Tracking and Dual Axis Tracking.

In detailed sources more specific tracker features are additionally mentioned, for instance, Horizontal Single Axis Trackers or Azimuth-Altitude Dual Axis Trackers.

Employment of solar trackers is an indispensable condition for concentrating solar energy technologies.

In this case it is the precise adjustment of parabolic or flat heliostats and concentrated energy receivers towards the sun that ensures the performance of solar power stations of this type in principle.

In the last years the employment of solar trackers is being extended in photovoltaic applications as well.

According to a number of economic and technological studies, employment of Single Axis Trackers allows the efficiency of solar energy conversion to be increased up to 25% and even to 35%, while for Dual Axis Tracking – up to 40%.

In addition, for solar tracker market a yearly average growth of 13-16% is forecasted in the nearest future.

Currently, there are several large manufacturers of solar trackers on the market, having many years of positive operational experience and whose supply rates of various tracking devices amount to hundreds or even thousands.

Among them the following should be highlighted: AllEarth Renewables, Array Technologies, Inc., First Solar, Inc., and DEGERenergie GmbH.

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