Fixed solar panels vs tracking solar panels have generated much discussion. Persons turning to reliable energy are looking for the best option for their purposes, home or business.
The desire to become more self-sufficient is a reality for many individuals, making these fixed solar panels vs tracking solar panel comparisons a vital topic.
Before we look at the comparisons, we should learn a bit more about them.
What Is Fixed Solar System?
A fixed solar system is a setup with solar panels connected in one location. The solar panels aren’t designed to move but remain stationary and collect whatever sunlight reaches the cells.
There are two main ways to have a fixed solar system; the typical setup is on the roof of a building. The other method is a structure on the ground with solar panels mounted in a particular order. You can find this application with solar farms or persons with off-grid applications.
What Is Tracking Solar Systems?
A tracking solar system allows your panels to follow the sun as the earth rotates on its axis. This technology allows the solar panels to produce more energy during the day as the panels always face the sun to get the best efficiency.
The tracking system requires a different setup to a fixed setup as moving components cause the panel to move in various directions. The technology is newer and continues to improve for more productivity.
Solar trackers can be passive, manual, or active. A manual tracker requires you to move the structure yourself manually. In contrast, a passive system uses liquid and heat, which causes it to tilt in the sun’s direction. An active system uses motors and sensors to follow the sun.
What Are The Types Of Solar Tracking Systems?
There are two main types of solar tracking systems that you can use to increase solar input, which increases output. Here are the two types:
Single Axis Solar Tracker: A single-axis solar tracker uses one motor on a panel with a tilted angle to follow the sun as the earth rotates.
The axis can move in various directions to maximize the contact of the solar panel with the sun’s rays. The layout installation options are south-north axis horizontal, east-west axis horizontal, and inclined shaft installation.
Dual Axis Solar Tracker: Dual axis trackers have the ability to rotate in every direction hence, following the sun wherever direction it may be in based on location.
The system tracks north to south and east to west, making it a better choice for use.
What Is The Difference Between Single Axis And Dual Axis Solar Trackers?
The most significant difference is the way they operate and set up costs. They both can track the sun but use different motions to do so.
The dual-axis has two motors compared to the one motor of the single-axis system. The two motors allow the dual-axis to cover more area without the need for repositioning.
The single-axis is installed based on the area’s location so it can track the sun as it travels from one direction to the next. It means that the system’s installations will differ.
Why Use Tracking For Solar Panels?
Since the earth rotates, the sun is always on the move as the planet moves away from it. Tracking will help eliminate the efficiency lost as the sun moves away from the cells that trap the sunlight.
If having more efficiency per panel is what you want, this could work, but it does have its drawbacks which we will discuss later.
Fixed Solar Panels vs Tracking-Pricing
One of the biggest challenges with having fixed solar panels vs tracking will be pricing. Tracking systems will drastically drive up the cost of your solar energy system and take a longer time to make back your investment if that is the way you go.
A single-axis system is cheaper than a dual-axis system, and both are more costly than a fixed solar panel array. So is solar panel tracking worth it?
It depends on your perspective, but we believe it has its benefits. Consider that solar panels are much cheaper, so you can buy more to accommodate your needs.
What is a disadvantage of using a tracking solar panel? The upfront cost is much more than a traditional solar installation.
Fixed Solar Panels vs Tracking-The Facts
The facts are in for fixed solar panels vs tracking solar panels. Fixed solar panels are cheaper but less efficient. The main difference between the two types of solar installations could be easily remedied based on affordability and vision.
How Much More Efficient Are Tracking Solar Panels?
Tracking solar panels are much more efficient than fixed solar panels due to their ability to follow the sun. Here are some statistics for reference:
A single-axis tracking solar system can add 20 to 30% of increased energy to your system.
A double-axis solar tracking system can add 30 to 40% to your current input.
So, are rotating solar panels more efficient? The answer to that question is yes; rotating solar panels are much more efficient.
Solar Tracker Companies
There are only a few solar tracker companies on the market. These companies are:
Arctech Solar Holdings Co., Ltd.: Founded in 2009, located in China.
Array Technologies Inc.: Founded in 1989, located in the USA.
Convert Italia: Founded in 1981, located in Italy
GameChange Solar LP: Founded in 2012, located in the USA.
Ideematec Deutschland GmbH: Founded in 2003, located in Germany.
Nextracker Inc.: Founded in 2013, located in the USA.
PV Hardware Solutions, S.L.U: Founded in 2011, located in Spain.
Soltec Energias Renovables S.L.: Founded in 2004, located in Spain.
STi Norland: Founded in 1996, located in Spain.
Trina Solar Co. Ltd.: Founded in 1997, located in China.
Fixed Solar Panels vs Tracking-Conclusion
Choosing between fixed solar panels vs tracking solar panels boils down to what you want as the consumer. Everyone has their requirements; you can use this information to decide what yours may be.