What is a Dual Axis Solar Tracker? Its Working, Benefits, And Cons
Have you ever thought about how large solar plants produce electricity with increased efficiency?
Well, it is because of a device known as a solar tracker. But how do they work?
As the name suggests, a solar tracker follows the direction of the sun and adjusts the solar panels accordingly. This process helps to capture the maximum amount of sunlight for generating electricity on a large scale.
The solar trackers are divided into two types, namely a single-axis solar tracker and a dual axis solar tracker. Both these types have significant differences, which we will discuss later in this blog.
First, let’s understand what a dual axis solar tracker is and how it works.
What is a Dual Axis Solar Tracker?
A dual axis tracker rotates the solar panels from East to West and North to South to provide direct exposure to sunlight. But how does this happen?
The presence of two axes in this tracker, i.e., the primary axis and secondary axis, facilitate convenient movement of the solar panels in all directions.
The most attractive feature of this device is that it helps generate nearly 40% more power than a fixed solar panel. Amazing, right?
Wondering how exactly the solar tracking system does that? The following section will help you understand just that.
Working of a Dual Axis Solar Tracker
Since the sun’s direction keeps changing throughout the day, it is crucial that the solar panels have a flexible base to remain perpendicular to the sun.
Therefore, a dual axis solar tracker has an inbuilt auto-light tracking control system, which facilitates free movement of the panels.
The components like signal processing units, mechanical and electromagnetic motion controller, power supply system, light sensors, PLC, and PV cells of the solar tracker help in the auto-tracking of the sun.
The dual axis solar tracker performs its functions in the following steps:
- – The panels activate after receiving high-intensity sunlight. Accordingly, they send signals to the sensors. The sensors carry those signals to the PLC.
- – The PLC of the solar tracker compares the light intensity and sends information to the rotating motor, which turns the panel towards the sun.
- – The motor of a dual axis solar tracker works by rotating the panels in all 4 directions for more electricity production.
Differences Between Single and Dual Axis Solar Tracker
As you know, there are two types of solar trackers; it is important to know their differences to select the best option for your solar system.
Let us start with the single-axis solar tracker!
Single Axis Solar Tracker
This solar tracker adjusts the solar panels around a single axis point. Here are some important properties of this tracker:
- – It tracks the direction of the sun in the east and west directions.
- – As the sun rises and sets, the panels with single trackers remain near perpendicular to the sun to absorb maximum light.
- – It is suitable for PV panels installed on a flat and even land surface.
- – Its slightly higher cost of installation quickly recovers with efficient power generation.
Now let’s look at the properties of a dual axis solar tracker to figure out the difference between the two tracking systems.
Dual axis solar tracker
It is designed and engineered to increase the efficiency of solar panels throughout the year. Its significant features include the following:
- – It can adjust the panels in all 4 directions according to the sun’s position.
- – The sensors and algorithm keep a record of the seasonal changes and lay timing for accurate panel positioning.
- – It increases solar energy generation all around the year.
What are the Benefits of Dual Axis Solar Tracker?
Looking at the properties and functions of the dual axis solar tracker, we can say that it is a highly advanced system for increasing the efficiency of solar panels. But, what are its varied benefits?
By installing this tracker into your solar system, you get the following benefits:
- – They require limited accommodation space. Therefore, you can easily install them if you have a small space for your solar system.
- – They are the best solution for generating more electricity throughout the day. The four directional rotations ensure excellent power supply irrespective of the day’s timing. Therefore, a high-capacity solar system with a dual axis tracker is efficient enough to meet your power requirements throughout the day and store extra energy for nighttime utility.
- – Since they can rotate the panels both horizontally and vertically, their efficiency is not affected even if the land is uneven.
- – The high energy production quickly balances the high investment of solar systems with dual solar trackers.
Drawbacks of Dual Axis Solar Tracker
Merely knowing the benefits is not enough for making a well-informed decision while installing a solar tracker.
You must be aware of the limitations of this highly efficient solar system device to handle minute issues that may pop up in the future.
Some limitations of the solar tracker systems are:
- – Since the solar tracking device has movable parts, its lifespan may be lesser than that of traditional solar panels.
- – The solar tracker may not work accurately when the sky is covered in clouds or smog.
- – They require regular maintenance for proper functioning.
The increasing popularity and dependency on solar energy have resulted in the invention of the dual axis solar tracker.
In addition, the increased output of solar panels when dual axis trackers are used is expected to further draw more people to use them.
If you are planning to install a solar system for commercial purposes, do consider investing in the dual solar tracker.
Always remember that there’s no need for you to install solar trackers for residential installations. Although it’s not illegal, installing solar trackers for residential installations isn’t really required.
Q. A dual solar tracker can rotate in how many directions?
A dual tracker is designed with highly advanced technology. It can rotate the panels in all four directions, i.e., north, south, east, and west.
Q. Do I need to spend extra money to install a solar tracker?
Yes, you need extra money to install a solar tracker in your solar system.
Q. Can a dual solar tracker work on an uneven land surface?
Yes, a dual axis tracker is perfectly suitable for solar panels that are installed on uneven ground.