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Solar Trackers: What are They and How do They Work?

Solar trackers are a certain type of solar mount that maximizes energy production by following the sun’s position throughout the day. The solar panels in a tracking system move automatically so they always face directly at the sun and get the most possible exposure. Because of their size and weight, solar tracking systems are not usually installed on rooftops, but are ground-mounted.

While solar trackers are more commonly used in commercial/industrial businesses, they can also be used in residential ground-mounted systems, especially when roofs aren’t suitable and/or space is an issue. Solar trackers can make a solar panel approximately 40 percent more efficient, which can offset the additional costs of the solar tracking installation and maintenance.

There are two types of solar tracking systems: single-axis and dual-axis. Single-axis trackers allow panels to rotate on a single point east to west and track the sun from when it rises to when it sets. Dual-axis trackers, which are more expensive, have a wider range of position options because they rotate on their axes vertically and horizontally too. These trackers are more mechanically complex but capture more of the sun’s energy than single-axis trackers. There are pros and cons with both types of trackers, but dual-axis trackers tend to be a better investment in areas with high levels of direct sunlight.

Solar tracking systems make sense particularly when you have space or terrain restrictions and need a compact array for maximum electricity production, or for large-scale commercial or utility installations. Find out more about solar trackers and standard ground and pole-mounted systems at Ion Solar Pros, (866) 582-0000.


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