Getting the most out of your investment is key when choosing materials for large-scale solar projects. This is where single-axis solar trackers come into play; they can both increase energy production and lower costs compared to other utility-scale solar tracker solutions. This guide will provide an overview of what solar trackers are and why a single-axis tracker is the ideal choice for most large-scale projects.
What Is a Solar Tracker?
A solar tracker is a system that positions a solar panel toward the sun. They’re used to continuously move panels to maintain direct sunlight and produce more power throughout the day. Rather than leaving your solar panels in a single position that’s only effective at limited times — also called a fixed-tilt system — solar trackers allow you to adjust your panels to follow the changing position of the sun.
Common Types of Solar Trackers
There are currently two main types of solar trackers available, which include:
- Single-axis trackers
- Dual-axis trackers
A single-axis solar tracker rotates on one axis, which is usually positioned either north to south or east to west. Dual-axis trackers consist of two axes that a solar panel rotates around at the same time. While dual-axis trackers can work well under certain circumstances, they are generally considered to be less ideal than single-axis for most large-scale projects.
What Sets Single-Axis Trackers Apart From Other Types?
Single-axis trackers are a better option than other types of trackers because they have fewer moving parts, which means they often last longer and are simpler to maintain. They also tend to cost less than dual-axis trackers, which can make them a more reasonable option for companies that are working with a limited budget. The durability, simplicity, and affordability of single-axis trackers make them especially beneficial for large-scale projects where lots of equipment is needed.
Why Is a Single-Axis Solar Tracker the Best Option for Commercial- and Utility-Scale Projects?
Most commercial- and utility-scale solar projects have greatly improved economics if single-axis trackers are used rather than a fixed-tilt system, even in locations with low direct solar irradiance like the US Northeast. Likewise, purchasing and installing dual-axis solar trackers at such a scale significantly increases material costs, land costs and long-term maintenance costs. Single-axis trackers offer the best of both worlds, making it possible to produce up to 35% more energy with each panel compared to a fixed-tilt system without the added installation and maintenance costs of dual-axis trackers.
Advantages of Single-Axis Trackers
Single-axis trackers can be an excellent option for getting the most out of your utility-scale project. Here are some of the most common benefits of choosing this option over fixed or dual-axis trackers.
Single-axis trackers can be significantly more affordable than dual-axis trackers. In fact, they’re typically more cost-effective than fixed systems, too, because they make it possible to produce more energy using less equipment.
Choosing single-axis trackers gives you a higher return on your investment by providing a larger output for each panel. And with greenfield land for solar farms becoming more scarce, it’s essential to get the most out of every panel to maximize space efficiency and limit destructive processes like mass grading.
Because single-axis trackers have significantly fewer moving parts than their dual-axis counterparts, they often last longer. Their simplicity also makes initial construction and maintenance significantly easier, which is especially important for large solar projects.
Single-axis solar trackers are both environmentally and financially sustainable. By increasing the amount of renewable energy your solar farm is capable of producing, you can significantly reduce carbon emissions and improve your project’s return on investment.
The All Terrain TrackerⓇ: A New Kind of Solar Tracker By Nevados
While single-axis trackers are the best choice for utility-scale solar projects, that doesn’t mean every single-axis tracker is equally effective. The Nevados All Terrain TrackerⓇ (ATTⓇ) is a new kind of single-axis solar tracker that uses industry-leading technology like non-continuous torque tubes and articulating bearings to help you build on naturally hilly and uneven terrain.
The ATTⓇ limits the need for mass grading, which can help you avoid skyrocketing costs, risks, construction delays, damage to the environment, and more. Contact us to learn more about the All Terrain TrackerⓇ and how you can use it to upgrade your next large-scale solar project.