Solar trackers are unique solar racking and mounting devices that offer a higher efficiency than their standard model counterparts. Rather than remaining stationary like most solar racks, solar trackers actively follow the sun throughout the sky, resulting in a greater percentage of the sun’s energy being converted into electricity. So just how efficient are solar trackers?
Why Are Trackers More Efficient?
More raw energy is carried in a direct beam of sunlight than an indirect beam. You experience this effect every day—on sunny days, the afternoon tends to be hotter than the morning or evening because sunlight is hitting the earth more directly. Because the sun is on a constant cycle of rising and setting, it’s impossible for any stationary solar panel to enjoy the benefits of direct sunlight for more than a few hours.
Solar trackers adjust their position so that the solar panels are angled toward the sun at all times, gradually tracing the path of the sun across the sky. Some trackers use a single-axis model, which is less complex but less efficient, and others use a dual-axis model, which is more expensive and is harder to maintain, but also tracks the sun’s position more accurately, thereby generating more electricity. Either way, the result is more solar energy available for conversion to electricity.
How Much More Efficient Are They?
Generally, a solar tracker will make a solar panel around 40 percent more efficient. Depending on your goals, that means you can use 40 percent fewer panels to generate the same amount of electricity, or you can use the same number of panels to generate 40 percent more.
What’s the Downside?
There are a couple of disadvantages that come along with the solar tracker’s unique model. First, they cost more to produce and install. Second, because they have moving parts, they do require more upkeep. Still, even with those extra costs in mind, solar trackers are more cost-efficient overall and are a better long-term investment than their stationary counterparts (for most jobsites).
If you’re interested in installing the Solar FlexRack™ solar tracker on your jobsite, get some more information here!