For flat-panel photovoltaic systems, trackers are used to minimize the angle of incidence between the incoming sunlight and a photovoltaic panel. This increases the amount of energy produced from a fixed amount of installed power generating capacity. In standard photovoltaic applications, it was predicted in 2008-2009 that trackers could be used in at least 85% of commercial installations greater than one megawatt from 2009 to 2012. However, as of April 2014, there is not any data to support these predictions.
In concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) applications, trackers are used to enable the optical components in the CPV and CSP systems. The optics in concentrated solar applications accept the direct component of sunlight light and therefore must be oriented appropriately to collect energy. Tracking systems are found in all concentrator applications because such systems do not produce energy unless pointed at the Sun.
Solar tracker. A backyard installation of passive single–axis trackers in winter midday position, tilted toward the south.
The tall poles allow walk-under and use of the ground space underneath the panels for plantings that thrive on protection from the intense midday summer sun at this location A solar tracker is a device that orients a payload toward the sun. Payloads can be photovoltaic panels, reflectors, lenses or other optical devices. In flat-panel photovoltaic (PV) applications, trackers are used to minimize the angle of incidence between the incoming sunlight and a photovoltaic panel. Basic concept.
Non-concentrating photovoltaic trackers. Concentrator photovoltaics. Single axis trackers. Dual axis trackers. Construction and (Self-) build. Tracker type selection. Multi-mirror concentrating PV. Drive types. Rotating buildings. Disadvantages.