Dual Axis Tracking – What is it and how it works

Introduction

Solar energy is defined as the key to a clear and green future of energy production. The sun is giving off 430 quintillion Joules of energy each day to earth, and in contrast, the energy consumption of the entire human race for one year amounts to 410 quintillion Joules. Granted, not all of it is harvestable, but if we can harvest half of it on a daily basis, the world will forever be revolutionized.

Such are our ambitions at Sun Action Trackers where we operate with a mission to manufacture and deliver the highest quality solar energy industry components on time within budget and to our customers’ expectations, only in the United States, but all over the world.

Among the various technologies deployed to make solar energy more and more efficient, one technology is Dual Axis Tracking. In this article, we will discuss in detail Dual Axis Tracking and what are its advantages.

Dual Axis Tracking

To understand Dual Axis Tracking, we need to first understand that there are two main types of tracking systems deployed in solar farms for efficient energy production. This includes

  1. Single Axis Tracking System
  2. Dual Axis Tracking System

In short, the Single Axis Tracking System follows the movement of the sun along a singular axis. Whereas a Dual Axis Tracking System follows the movement of the sun around a dual axis. This means it will track the movement of the sun not only on the east and west axis but also on the north and south axis, adjusting according to the rotation of the earth around the sun around all the seasons of the year.

With Dual Axis Tracking a solar panel can generate 40% more electricity than static and 25% more than single-axis tracking (source). Although the cost is also higher, but the payoff is worth the extra expense. With a higher degree of flexibility and accuracy, the Dual Axis Tracking System allows for a higher energy output on days with clear skies and bright sun. At Sun Action Trackers, we make it possible with our patented real-time sensing technology which was developed to capture maximum energy from the Sun. The system utilizes two solar sensors to detect the highest point of irradiance and make the necessary movements to face the array perpendicular to the Sun. 

Generally, with Dual Axis Tracking, there’s the risk of high maintenance costs. This depends upon the choice of manufacturer, as quality greatly varies with different manufacturers. This is not the case with Sun Action Tracker where we use the highest quality automatic welding robots and manual welding as part of our manufacturing processes which help our talented team assure the quality of our products each part that we manufacture follows our quality policy with multiple inspection checkpoints as the part is manufactured for smooth production and high quality. Sun Action trackers has deployed more than 1.5GW and it is largest Dual Axis Tracker manufacture in the world.

Sun Action Trackers ensure low maintenance costs with maximum durability and the most advanced real-time sensing for efficient tracking.

Structure

The structure of a Dual Axis Tracking system can be didivded into the following main parts.

Each Dual Axis Tracking System is equipped with four vertically integrated quality solar components along with two solar sensors. These sensors position the tracker in a 00 (flat) position in case of a lack of solar radiation. This reduces the waste of solar energy in comparison to astronomical trackers which only follow their pre-programmed path.

Each Dual Axis Tracker is fixed with a control box that helps in the operational mode. This includes the following modes.

  1. Automatic mode
  2. Manual mode

 

Automatic operational mode includes the following:

  1. Normal Mode (with maximum sunlight and clear skies)
  2. Safety Mode (Automatic Horizontal)
    1. Snow mode
    2. Wind mode
  3. Low-light mode
    1. For cloudy days
    2. For partially cloudy days

In automatic mode, the sensors transmit data of the sun’s position in real-time to the linear actuator that adjusts the position of the solar panels. The actuators of Sun Action Trackers are highly corrosion resistant and able to vertically tilt the panels to 600 (from starting point of 00). 

A slew drive is a gearbox that holds the axial and radial loads without brakes along with transmitting torque for rotation. Sun Action Trackers’ slew drive is completely enclosed for better protection and delivers high torque transmission. It is specifically designed for solar tracking and operates at high accuracy.

Additional Features

It is not likely that the weather is going to stay ideal all the time. Solar farms can expect low light conditions, high winds, and even snowfall depending upon location. Sun Action Trackers offer Safety Mode for just such conditions where the panel is automatically turned horizontally flat, allowing it to capture the maximum of what little light may be present.

The safety mode can also withstand speeds of up to 105MPH (ACC. ASEC 7-05).

Advantages

  • To start off, Dual Axis Tracking allows the panels to move in all directions. This means energy is generated at optimum quantity for maximum duration. With the panel following the movement of the sun, there’s no need to wait for the rays to fall on the panel. This results in 45% more energy produced in comparison to ground mount fixed tilt with bi-facial solar panel and 75% more than more than roof top solar setups.
  • Moreover, energy production is drastically increased with Dual Axis Tracking in comparison to fixed or Single Axis Tracking.
  • Dual Axis Tracking can work in any kind of terrain with Zero cost. They are ideal for locations where it is hard to capture sunlight due to uneven ground, such as hilly areas and even in areas where the ground is, or gets flooded.
  • With substantial power production, it is easy to make up for the higher upfront cost of Dual Axis Tracking Systems. This means a shorter period to reach a cost break-even

Conclusion

In the end, we can safely say that no matter the weather, terrain, or the position of the sun, a Dual Axis Tracking System will always get the job done. With optimum power production, they are far more efficient and ideal in the circumstance where fixed or single-axis tracking systems would not suffice.

At Sun Action Trackers, we take tremendous pride in our San Antonio community and they’re dedicated to engaging in activities that promote quality of life and the protection of our environment we’re enthusiastic about the future of the renewable and sustainable energy industry. At Sun Action trackers we are eyeing the Sun.

To request a quote, please don’t hesitate to contact us or click here to know more.

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