What is a Solar Tracker and How Does it Work?

Read the full article published on Solar Power World here

By Billy Ludt | January 16. 2020 

Manufacturers are constantly making incremental improvements to their solar panels to create a higher energy yield per unit than previous and competing models. Another proven way to increase system output is by using trackers, which, unlike fixed-tilt ground-mount systems, make solar panels follow the sun’s path throughout the day.

There are two main types of solar trackers available on the market: single- and dual-axis.

Single-axis solar trackers track the sun east to west, rotating on a single point, moving either in unison, by panel row or by section. Dual-axis trackers rotate on both the X and Y axes, making panels track the sun directly.

“Solar trackers make financial sense when the yield gain over fixed-tilt applications outweighs the capital expenditure of the system,” said Alex Au, chief technical officer at Nextracker. “In the past decade, the cost of solar trackers has come down considerably with [levelized cost of energy] value engineering and overall demand for these systems, given a 15 to 30% production gain over fixed-tilt systems on the same size array.”