Understand the Fundamentals of Single Axis Solar Tracking System

Do you know what a single axis solar tracking system is? 

Well, if you’re here, we assume you want to get familiar with the concept. But before diving straight into the meaning, let’s understand its need. 

Most of us are familiar with the fact that solar panels absorb the energy from the sunlight and convert it into alternating current to power up electrical appliances. 

However, it is important to remember that the sun’s position does not stay static and changes throughout the year. To get sufficient energy from the sun, the PV modules also need to change their angle. 

Hence to address this problem, a system was developed to enable the modules to move according to the sun’s direction or position. As you might have already guessed, this system is none other than the single axis solar tracker system.

If you’ve read so far, let’s brief you on the system in detail. 

Overview of a Single Axis Solar Tracker 

Single axis solar tracker is a device that positions the panel in the direction of the sunlight to draw the maximum energy possible. 

As the name suggests, the tracker helps the solar panels to flex on the axis and change their angle with the Sun’s direction. 

Simply put, the single axis solar tracking system allows the panels to move from east to west and improve energy production. 

It is much more efficient than fixed solar panel systems because compared to the latter, the single axis trackers generate up to 25-35% more electricity.

Types of Single Axis Trackers 

Now that we know what a single axis tracking system is, let’s move into the types. 

Usually, solar trackers are of three types: manual, passive, and active. 

While the manual requires somebody to adjust the panels throughout the day, the passive trackers contain a liquid that evaporates when exposed to sunlight. When this happens, the panels shift in the direction of the sunlight. 

On the other hand, active trackers depend on hydraulic cylinders or motors to change the panel’s position. These components shift the panels toward the Sun without manual assistance. 

So, these are the primary classifications of solar trackers.

The single axis tracker technology can be further divided into four types, depending on the placement of the panels. 

  • Horizontal Single-Axis Solar Tracker (HSAT): This solar tracker has a fixed axis and moves from east to west as the sun’s position changes.
  • – Horizontal Tilted Single-Axis Solar Tracker (HTSAT): This tracker is similar to the former, except that it is installed with a slight tilt. 
  • Vertical Single-Axis Solar Tracker (VSAT): This single axis solar tracking system moves from north to south. 
  • – Vertical-Tilted Single-Axis Solar Tracker (VTSAT): This tracker works the same way as HTSAT but rotates on a vertical axis and is tilted to the horizontal position. 

Benefits of a Single Axis Solar Tracking System 

There are quite a few advantages of installing a single axis solar tracking system. Let’s look into each of them!

  • – Compared to a fixed system, these solar trackers produce up to a third or more energy. 
  • – They require a lower installation cost than dual axis trackers. 
  • – They have a good lifespan compared to the dual axis modules. 
  • – The single axis solar tracker offers high durability. 
  • – They are suitable for installation even in areas with less sunlight. 

Cons of Single Axis Solar Tracking System 

Let’s now discuss the cons of using a single axis solar tracker. 

  • – High maintenance is required to keep the trackers working for a long time. As moving machinery is used within the trackers, they need to be cleaned and repaired occasionally. 
  • – The single axis solar tracking system is heavier than the fixed modules. Therefore, it is ideal for installation on the ground instead of on the roof. 
  • – Compared to dual trackers, these trackers move only on one axis. 

Single Axis or Dual Axis: Which Is Better and Why? 

If you’re planning to install a solar tracker at your home, you might be wondering whether you should buy a single-axis or a dual-axis solar tracker. 

While both solar trackers aim to draw more energy from the sunlight, their function differs. The single axis solar tracking system has a single axis and draws power from the sunlight within the axis range. 

On the other hand, the dual axis tracker absorbs the sun’s energy from two axes. Therefore, it is better than the single axis solar trackers in terms of efficiency. But from the cost perspective, single-axis solar trackers are cheaper than dual ones. 

Since solar trackers are expensive in general, a single axis solar tracking system is a common choice for many users due to its cost-effective pricing. 

So, which one is better? 

Certainly, that depends on the factors you’re looking for in a solar tracker. If you’re looking for a highly efficient solar tracker, consider purchasing the dual axis tracker. 

However, if you’re looking for a moderately efficient solar tracker with low prices, a single axis solar tracking system is what you should opt for. 


Hopefully, we have cleared all your confusion and doubts regarding a single-axis solar tracking system. 

Undoubtedly, the single axis solar tracking system can draw and supply more energy than conventional solar panel systems. 

However, keep in mind that tracking systems in general – both, single axis and dual axis – are particularly not needed for residential installations. They’re more beneficial for commercial and industrial installations.


Q. Is buying a solar tracking system worth the investment?

Installing a solar tracking system can help generate more power than usual. But it is not mandatory to install. 

However, if you need more power from solar panels, you can consider installing one. 

Q. What are the two main types of solar trackers?

The two main types of solar trackers are single and dual-axis trackers. The single axis solar tracker moves on one axis, whereas the dual-axis trackers move on both the X and Y axis. 

Q. What is the main limitation of using a solar tracker?

The main limitation of using a solar tracker is that it is more expensive than fixed modules. As moving parts are also installed in the trackers, it leads to high costs.