One of the most significant issues in today’s world is energy crisis. Since conventional resources are limited, the renewable ones are earning more priority for overcoming energy crisis. Solar energy is one of these resources that are gaining focus as a good means to expand the uses of renewable energy. Among the several types that are available, automatic solar tracker is more preferred in today’s modern world.
What is Automatic Solar Tracker?
An automatic solar tracker is a device that orients different payloads in the direction of sun automatically. These payloads can be lenses, reflectors, photovoltaic panels, or other optical systems.
An automatic solar tracking system starts to follow the sun right from sunrise, all through the day, till sunset and starts all through again from sunrise the following day. It stays still on cloudy days and functions again when the sun comes out of the clouds. All this is done automatically by employing inexpensive parts and is highly accurate.
Types of Solar Trackers
Automatic solar trackers can be classified into two types:
- Single Axis Solar Trackers: These trackers will have either a vertical or horizontal axle. The vertical ones are suited for higher latitude regions, while the horizontal ones are apt for tropical regions.
- Double Axis Solar Trackers: They have both a vertical and horizontal axle to track the apparent motion of the sun anywhere in the world. Such a system can be utilized to control astronomical telescope. Hence, there is lots of software to forecast and track the sun’s motion automatically.
To understand the working, let us consider the example of a vertical solar tracker attached to a solar panel situated in a higher latitude region. An integrated set of sensors points to the West and East of the sun’s location.
The light that is detected by the sensor facing eastwards is at a lower intensity than that detected by the sensor facing westwards. Thus, the solar panel has to be moved westwards by the motor that is controlled by the tracker till the light levels detected by both the sensors are equal. This is the point at which the panel will face the sun directly and produce electricity optimally.
Where is Solar Trackers Used?
Solar trackers, be it the normal ones or automatic ones, can be utilized on non-shaded regions of ground and on flat roofs. They are not ideal for usage on the normal residential slanting roofs or other special solar technologies like solar tiles. Most of the commercial trackers are used on non-shaded regions of ground.
Automatic solar tracker is the most suitable technology to improve the effectiveness of solar cells by tracking the sun automatically.