Interested in having your solar panels automatically track the sun via 2 axis left to right and up and down movements all day long to try to maximize the output from your solar panels? It is very cool to watch your solar panels track the sun all day long to achieve maximum solar harvest but the maximum increased output you will see is about 30% increase in power harvest over the course of the day vs the same sized solar array pointed towards noon sun.
When you take into account the expense of the solar tracker, the extra weight of the heavy duty cast iron tracking setup, the issues with securing the tracker to the ground securely so the panels do not fly away when the winds pickup you will come to the realization that its much better to just add a extra solar panel to increase the amount of solar power you harvest every day by much more than the 30% you may see from using the solar tracker.
So we tested the solar tracker you see pictured here, we saw minimal gains during the winter months, you will see the most gain in the summer months when the days are longer. We used solar irradiation logging equipment to see the gain in solar radiation over the course of the day over using a fixed solar noon position vs. the tracker. We saw solar harvest gain in the early morning and evening and virtually no gain during the peak sun hours.
So we came to the conclusion that we could 100% double the solar harvest if we just used 2 solar panels instead of using the solar tracker setup. Doubling the solar panel array is much cheaper, lighter, and easier to deal with than the tracker, the time it takes to setup, its weight, and having to properly secure it to the ground so it does not smash into the ground and ruin the glass solar panels. This is a setup that is best suited for permanent installations where it can be properly secured to the ground.
Solar panels have zero moving parts and if properly taken care of have a very low chance of failure. The solar tracker has a few moving parts and sensors that could fail over time. We have helped improve the tracking sensor design to eliminate the mechanical relays that would fail early with non moving solid state relays. There is always a way for moving parts to fail over time.
There are 2 different size tracking setups - one model can handle 2x250w solar panels at one time for a total of 500w. The other smaller tracking system an handle up to a 150w solar panel. Cost per tracker is in the $1500 - $2000 price range depending on how many you want and which model you want. Kinda pricey we agree and you can see how doubling a 200w solar array to 400w for $350 is a much cheaper way to go about adding a 100% increase in solar harvest vs the 30% max by using solar tracking.
We think that there are some situations where using this solar tracker would be a smart decision but in most portable solar power applications it would be cheaper, lighter, and most cost effective to simply add a 2nd portable solar panel or increase the solar array.
If you have a situation where you think the solar tracking could be a good solution then please contact us for pricing. We have a relationship with the manufacturer and provide the best pricing available. Our goal is to provide honest reviews of the products we have tested and pass that along to our clients and if your are still interested we can help you get what you desire.
Please contact Ryan @ 765-517-1210 or email us at Sales@PortableSolarPower.Biz if you have any questions.
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