In 2017 solar tracker systems were installed on 25% of solar power plants and that rate is expected to go up during the next few years to reach 50% by 2021. These systems – well-known in solar industry – position solar modules face to the sun at any moment of the day, increasing the production compared to a fixed-tilt structure. But besides this, trackers bring a lot more to solar power plants and are now the future of solar energy. Let’s have a quick recall of why solar industry can’t do without trackers anymore :
1- As said previously, solar trackers make the power plant more efficient by allowing the modules to follow the sun all day long. The exposure to solar rays can be increased from 10 up to 25% depending on the location of the power plant.
2- There are many kinds of solar trackers, from single- to dual-axis. Dual-axis trackers are mostly used in small applications – like residential for example – while single-axis trackers are more often used in utility-scale and large projects. There is a type of trackers adapted to your project, whatever its size!
3- Daily and seasonal distribution is smoothed because the plant is not exposed to peaks at certain time of the day or the year. The production remains constant.
4- By increasing the performance of the power plant, solar trackers decrease your LCOE and thereby improve your ROI.
5- Besides the increase in the annual production, solar trackers make your power plant produce more during peak demand hours in comparison with fixed-tilt systems.
6- Solar trackers require less space than fixed-tilt structures to produce the same amount of electricity.
7- The solar tracker has become a competitive technology and now offers not only the opportunity to follow the sun, but also many features making your solar plant always more efficient.
Optimum Tracker developed for example the Opti-Backtracking®, a special tracking process which prevents solar panels to cast their shadows on each other. The result is an optimized yield at the global level of the utility-scale power plant.
8- Tracking systems are most of the time sold with a monitoring solution to make the maintenance easier and the structures remotely controlled.
9- Structures with trackers can now be installed on almost every type of land, with or without slope, regardless of the ground or the geographic location – by the sea for example.
10- Some tracking systems not only help your modules follow the sun all day long, but can also help them produce more when there is no sun – because the sky is cloudy for example. The Opti-SkyControl® designed by Optimum Tracker caters to this need: by capturing diffuse light and not only direct sun rays, this feature makes your solar plant produce up to 2% more than usual tracker systems.