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Tracking technology allows solar panels to track the movement of sun and enhance its output efficiency by 20% to 40% as compared to a fixed solar PV array. Flat-panel photovoltaic (PV), Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) and Concentrated Solar Thermal (CSP) are some of the key technologies in the solar tracker market. Solar trackers have unique functionalities in each application such as minimizing the angle of incidence between the photovoltaic panel and incoming sunlight in PV applications and orienting the optics in CPV and CSP systems. Presently, CPV is one of the emerging technologies in the solar energy industry due to the benefits it offers. Low manufacturing cost of CPV technology assists in generating energy at low costs. Around 85% to 90% solar panels can be recycled due to usage of glass and aluminum as raw materials.
Single axis and dual axis are two types of trackers installed worldwide. Single axis trackers have only one axis for rotation that could be horizontal, vertical, tilted or polar aligned moving from east to west over the course of a day. Dual axis trackers rotate in two axes, both east to west and vertically trapping maximum solar radiations. Single axis trackers are primarily used in solar PV systems due to their lower cost compared to dual axis trackers and high electricity output against fixed systems.
Europe has high DNI (Direct normal irradiance 5.5kWh/m2) due to which solar trackers are one of the preferred renewable technologies used for energy generation. Dual axis solar trackers applications are expected to increase in CSP and CPV plants. Single axis is preferred in utility scale projects due to low installation cost and high efficiency. Single axis tracker systems accounted for more than 85% market share in 2010, compared to dual axis solar trackers.