Should you get solar trackers?

Ashleigh AngellOctober 25, 20187590

Should you get solar trackers?

Many people are in the situation where their location is not ideal to get the maximum amount of sunlight possible in a day. This is usually caused by their geographic location mixed with the way their roof faces. If this describes you, you might have started researching solar trackers to find out if they’re a good solution for you. Let’s take an in-depth look at solar trackers to figure out what exactly they are, the pros and cons, and whether or not they’re right for your solar project.

What solar trackers are.

A solar tracker is a mechanism that allows your system’s panels to move in the direction the sun moves throughout the day in order to get the maximum amount of sunlight each day. They are usually used for ground-mounted panels, which can easily follow the sun. This is important because even when sunlight is somewhat hitting your panels, if they are hitting it at an angle instead of directly, the production of energy produced isn’t going to be nearly as efficient. Solar trackers will allow the sun to always hit the panels directly, meaning that until the sun sets, the panels will be receiving the maximum efficiency.

You can either get a single-axis or a dual-axis tracker. A single-axis tracker will move your panels to move either up and down or left and right, whereas a dual-axis tracker will allow them to move both directions.

The pros and cons of getting a solar tracker.

The obvious pro to a solar tracker is that you’ll get the most energy possible throughout the day. With a tracker, your system’s performance could go up anywhere between 25 and 35 percent. Dual-axis trackers could up it anywhere from 40 to 45 percent. Thus, a solar tracker would be great for a person whose panels cannot face north and have a lot of shade.

On the other hand, they are cons, as well. For starters, they are going to cost you a lot more when you install your solar system. They also will require a lot more maintenance. While solar panels do not have a lot of maintenance in general, having a complex piece of machinery like a solar tracker will mean a greater likelihood of needing repairs. They are also very heavy, so you probably won’t be able to install them on a roof even if you want to do so. Which means you’ll probably be forced to install a ground-mounted panel, which means finding a space in your yard and spending more money on your racking system.

Should you get a solar tracker?

So, the next question is, of course, should you get a solar tracker? Well, if you want a rooftop solar system, more than likely the answer is no. Even if you can find a tracker that can go on your roof, it probably won’t be worth the cost. After all, most solar panels will be installed facing the south to begin with, and therefore will get plenty of production for powering your home, regardless.

However, if you are planning on getting a ground-mounted system, regardless, and if your roof has a lot of shading and no north-facing sections, a solar tracker could provide you with the maximum amount of energy production. They could increase your production up to 45% and ensure you don’t have to worry about the direction of your roof aver again.

Want to learn more about new solar technologies to increase your solar production? Check out the HahaSmart blog!

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