Solar energy is fast becoming big business as the effects of long-term fossil fuel use are now being felt worldwide. The fact that current fuel resources are non-renewable and the demand is ever increasing, the need to find alternative renewable energy resources has become paramount in both the scientific and business community. One of the devices that make for efficient use of solar panels is a solar tracker. A solar tracker is a motor that adjusts the positioning of the solar panels as against the sun’s position in the sky. As we have known since Copernicus, the earth revolves around the sun. This makes for the phenomenon experienced as seeing the sun travel across the sky. The job of the solar tracker is to adjust the positioning of the solar panels in order to be able to maximize the collection of the rays of sun. The sun’s rays are the essential energy sources that would be transformed into electrical energy for use.
There are two ways to go about it. One is by having the machine move the whole solar panel. This requires an exact movement on a movable ball and joint so that the panel would be directed at the sun itself. Another manner is through the use of movable mirrors. These movable mirrors would serve as the collectors of the sunlight and then the rays would then be magnified into the photovoltaic cells. This requires pinpoint accuracy in the angles between the collection and the magnification towards the fixed solar panel. This is the safest and most efficient manner of collecting sunlight as the magnification effect would help in creating more electrical energy either for storage or use.
Between the two systems, over-all cost would play the most pivotal role in decision-making. The first system, called non-concentrating applications, would be less accurate and tracking can even be done manually. The movement though may cause stress on the sensitive photo voltaic cells. On the other hand, the concentrated application would almost be twice the cost and twice the size for maintenance and storage. But in turn, the magnification and the tracking system by mirrors create much more energy and the accuracy of direction of the sun is much more efficient. In both trackers, the winter season is very much a factor for consideration because of the shorter daylight times. So in order to counter act this, one can either use more trackers thus adding more collectors to generate same amount of energy. Depending on the physical size, the tracker mounting pole size and the array geometry, the price could range from $6,000-$7,000.
There are many options with the use of tracking technology in solar power panels. Research and observation needs to be conducted thoroughly in order that the proper set-up is decided upon before purchase and installation.
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