Active solar tracking systems explained

Solar panel tracking systems are a good choice when enough land is available to space panels adequately. Shading problems must be considered, as they are more of an issue when the panel arrays are moving fixed pole mount as well as tracking arrays.

There are two kind of active solar tracking systems:

  1. Astronomical or Chronological: The electronic system calculates the current position of the Sun at the location and the tracking motor moves the solar modules perpendicular to the Sun at pre-set times intervals using precise coordinates.
  2. Sensor controlled: Instead of aligning the modules using the astronomical position of the Sun, a tracking system fitted with light sensor points the solar panels towards the brightest points in the sky. Under a complete overcast sky for example, the modules will be in a horizontal position.

Why use an active solar tracking system?

Making the most of our solar power energy requires highly efficient solar cells and advanced sun tracking systems. Sun tracking allows the solar cells to face the strongest sunlight while it is available, they need to be able to detect the strength of sunlight in different  directions to determine the best location for the strongest sunlight.

The solar plates must be constantly adjusted to the correct angle and direction by the sun tracker system, which requires a multi-axis motion control system.

Because sun tracker systems are installed in outdoor areas in direct sunlight, the devices in the system needs to be able to withstand harsh environments and have wide operating temperatures.


Various studies have demonstrated that the vast majority of energy gains when using a solar tracking system will be achieved in Summer.

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