How single axis solar trackers compare to dual axis trackers
1 year ago Monica Watson 0
Let’s start by learning what the two are;
- Single axis solar trackers – the sun rises in the east and sets in the west in every single day. This is supposed to be at a rotation of 360 degrees. In the world of photovoltaic collectors, only the 180 degrees is important. That’s because the night time comes with nonsignificant light. Even then, your system won’t make the maximum of the 1800 if you don’t use a single axis soltec utility tracker. It is a system that aligns your panels, lenses, parabolic troughs, mirrors and Fresnel reflectors in an east-west direction. These are then made to rotate appropriately as the sun moves from the east to the west. At every particular time of the day, the collectors will be facing directly to the sun. Amazing! Energy losses that could have been caused by poor orientation especially in the evenings and mornings are hence avoided.
- Dual-axis solar trackers – from our high school geography, we know that the sun does not follow one path all year round. Sometimes it shifts to the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere is never forgotten as well. That’s is usually within 460 in general; 230 to the south and 230 to the north. That’s significant based on the efficiency of solar collectors. Day length changes with seasons. Energy losses on daily basis when added up together counts a lot. There are also seasonal losses to take care of. Dual axis solar panels are hence made to deal with this situation. They not only follows the east-west straight path in orienting the panels but also shifts according to what time it is in a season as designed for a particular region on the earth’s surface.
The efficiency in energy production matters for a photovoltaic system. When the two trackers are compared, of course there has to be a difference pertaining accuracy. It’s made clear above. Duo axis tackers will follow the path of the sun regardless of the time of day or what season it is. The single axis tracker on the other hand follows only the east-west path of the sun. In deeper studies, the difference between the two in accuracy was discovered to be just 4%. Is that enough to judge rule the single axis trackers inferior? Not really.
Why the accuracy may not matter much
Dual axis solar tracking can be seen as the better options over their single axis counterparts. That’s probably because of the extra 4% accuracy advantage they have. Other factors must however come to play when selecting solar trackers. The cost definitely does not favor the dual axis models. They are expensive. They are also very complicated systems that calls for regular maintenance and down time to install. Reliability is far much reduced. Other than the slight accuracy defect in single axis trackers, all the other factors mentioned favor them.