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Increase the performance of a solar array 25% to 30%

Solar panels are typically mounted stationary although on larger solar array installations it makes sense to add a system that tracks the sun across the sky to increase the overall performance of the system significantly. Unfortunately, the majority of residential solar power systems are not on trackers because they increase the upfront cost of the solar power system and require maintenance costs because of the moving parts. There are two major type of solar photovoltaic trackers: single axis – follows the sun’s azimuth but not its altitude dual axis – follows the sun’s azimuth and altitude Typically trackers are used in large utility scale or commercial solar panel installation, although I have heard of home very savvy homeowners who built their own tracking systems, but I have no idea how much performance they increased and the ease of operation of a home built tracking systems. When most people ask me if a tracking system is good for their home solar power system, I let people know that current tracking technology is not at a point in which it makes sense for smaller solar array installations. The graph above shows the performance of the RayTracker by EI Innovations over a conventional fixed mount solar array. The company claims that there is no scheduled maintenance associated with their tracking system, that’s pretty impressive. Wouldn’t you say...

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solar panel tracker systems, do they make sense?

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...

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