Single Axis Solar Trackers: Mechanism, Advantages, & Disadvantages

Single axis solar trackers are an effective invention in the solar industry. Here’s why! 

As you must have read in your Geography books, the sun’s position is never static. It moves from East To West. So, if you install a solar panel at the angle of the sun’s energy, it is not enough. 

This is because, at one point, it won’t get the sunrays as the sun shifts its angle. Luckily, to address this problem, we have a single axis solar tracker installed in many solar panels today. 

Thanks to this invention, now the panels can move along with the position of the sun’s rays. Isn’t that brilliant? 

If you’re intrigued, keep reading to know more about this technology! 

What Is a Single Axis Solar Tracker? 

Let’s begin with understanding the basics of a single-axis solar tracker. 

As discussed earlier, the single axis solar tracker is a new technology that tracks the direction of the Sun when placed within the panel. 

As the name implies, it rotates on a single axis. The fun fact is this axis can be tilted, horizontal and even vertical, depending on which module you buy. 

These trackers help the PV module transition from one point to the other, notably from East to West. 

Since it helps the PV module move as per the direction of the sunlight, unlike the rigid solar panels, it can provide 25-35% more energy. Yes, you heard us right! 

In fact, single-axis solar trackers are further divided into certain types. Let us understand them one by one!

Classifications of Single-Axis Trackers 

Interestingly, the single-axis solar trackers have sub-classifications – manual, active, and passive. 

  • Manual Single-Axis Solar Trackers: Manual labour is required to run these trackers. By that, we mean that if you want the sun rays to fall on the solar panels, you need to move the panels by yourself. This is a hectic task and is certainly more inconvenient than the others. 
  • – Passive Single-Axis Solar Trackers: Luckily, for passive single-axis solar trackers, you do not need to move the solar trackers manually. 

These trackers have a liquid present in them. The liquid evaporates as soon as the sun’s rays fall on the panels. The evaporation causes the panels to follow and tilt towards the sunlight’s direction. 

  • Active Single-Axis Solar Trackers: These solar trackers work on motors and mechanical devices. So, these do not need an additional energy source to function. The artificially installed motor is sufficient to track the sun’s movement. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Single Axis Solar Tracker 

Before buying a single axis solar tracker, you must know the advantages and disadvantages. Carefully analyse the tracker based on the pros and cons before investing in the right model. 

Let’s begin by understanding the advantages:

  • – A single axis solar tracker is a more cost-effective choice than dual-axis trackers. 
  • – It is easy to install compared to dual-axis trackers. 
  • – This tracker requires a large space to accommodate.
  • – It has a better lifespan and fewer movable parts than the dual-axis tracking system.
  • – The design is user-friendly because it has fewer movable parts.  
  • – Unlike rigid solar panels, these can move their angle to collect energy from the sunlight. 
  • – A single axis solar tracker can adjust in areas with less exposure to sunlight. 

The following are the drawbacks of installing a single axis solar tracker. 

  • – Although these trackers can move to absorb sunlight from East To West, they cannot move from North To South, unlike dual axis solar trackers. 

How Is a Single Axis Solar Tracker Better than a Dual Axis Solar Tracker? 

Regarding efficiency and functionality, dual-axis trackers are more effective than single-axis trackers. But that does not mean the single-axis trackers are pointless to buy. 

The following are a few reasons that make single-axis trackers better than dual-axis trackers in some ways. Let’s get to know them one by one. 

  • – If the module design is considered, single-axis trackers have a simple design. 
  • – A single-axis tracker is cheaper than dual-axis trackers. 
  • – Since the cost is reasonable, it is more in demand than the dual-axis trackers. 
  • – A single axis tracking system needs more maintenance than solar panels as the moving parts need to be cleaned occasionally. But if compared with the dual-axis trackers, they require less cleaning. 

Should You Invest in a Solar Tracking System? 

Many people have this question: Is it worth investing in a solar tracking system? 

The answer is yes! For all the reasons stated above, it is worth buying a solar tracking system.

But if you want to buy it for your residence, it may not be a good choice. This is because a solar tracking system is less useful for homes and more for industrial and commercial settings. 

A solar tracking system is heavy, so it may not be apt for rooftop installation. However, it can be installed on the ground. 

You can invest in buying a solar tracking system, depending on your needs and the space for installation.  


Hopefully, we have helped you in understanding how the single-axis solar trackers work. So, if you’ve decided to purchase one, you know the drill! 

Contact the manufacturers, note the specifications of a single axis solar tracker, and make an informed decision. 


Q. What is the importance of a single axis solar tracker?

A single axis solar tracker shifts the solar panels in the direction of the Sun to improve power production efficiency.

Q. What are the three major types of single-axis solar trackers?

The three major single-axis solar trackers are manual, active, and passive. You can distinguish these types based on their functionality. 

Manual trackers need to be adjusted through manual labour for functioning. 

Active trackers work on motors. Passive trackers move when a liquid within the tracker evaporates as the panels absorb the sun’s rays. 

Q. What is more cost-effective – a single-axis or dual-axis solar tracker?

Single-axis solar trackers are more cost-effective than dual-axis solar trackers as they have fewer components than the latter. 

So, single-axis trackers are a good choice if you want to invest in a cheap solar axis tracking system.