As the sun travels across its sun path each day a stationary solar panel system has significant efficiency disadvantages compared to a tracker solar panel system. A tracker solar power system can increase solar panel efficiency by 40% by following the path of the sun through out the day.
Although tracking systems doubles the total price of a system and requires more yearly maintenance compared to a stationary system. The suns path in the sky varies through the seasons (summer and winter), elevation, and time of day a solar tracker system can keep your solar panels pointed towards to sun through out the whole day.
For the typical home or small business solar panel system installation, a stationery system makes most financial sense, unless you have the funds to cover the upfront cost of the tracker system. Residential tracker systems are becoming more efficient a cheaper, although at this point of time, tracker systems only make sense in large commercial or industrial installations.
EI Solutions, the company that installed the solar power system on the Google campus, has recently started to design solar panel tracking systems that require less maintenance, called the ray tracker. We met the engineers of the ray ticker at the ASES 2008 conference and feel they have a great product to help the commercial and industrial scale photovoltaic projects.