I assume you already have a solar panel and want to get some extra energy from the same amounts of equipment without occupying more space.
Whenever did I ask this question from my solar provider: How can I increase my solar panel efficiency? I get pretty much the same answer every single time, add more solar panels!
Well, the reality of these companies is to sell you another solar panel because they do this for a living. Truth be told, there are a lot of smart ways you can use to increase the efficiency of your existing solar panels. And my favorite one is to rotate solar panels following the sun to get more energy.
Normally, your solar panel only faces the sun for about half of the day. Your solar provider would frequently visit your house to figure out the best place to install a solar panel and get maximum heat.
But what if you can just set up a system that can rotate the solar panel following the sun? The answer is simple, use a solar tracker.
Static vs rotatable solar panel
Your normal static solar panel only faces the sun for a specific amount of time, while a rotatable solar panel faces the sun all day long because it rotates the panel following the sun’s path.
This is not a novel idea, solar companies and solar panel enthusiasts always try to come up with different ideas to get maximum efficiency.
From changing panel material to using the latest technology cables and everything in between. Setting up the technology to rotate the solar panel is one of them.
Different tools help you in picking up locations to get maximum sun heat. Some experts came up with an idea to install solar panels in a way to move it following the sun, but moving it manually isn’t viable because nobody has the time to track the sun and move the solar panel all day long.
Using modern-day technology some companies build a solar tracker which tracks the sun and sends a signal to a motor underneath the solar panel to move it for maximum efficiency.
There is a lot of chatter about solar trackers whether they work or not. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to figure out if it is a good fit for you. Solar company rep always schedules multiple visits to decide the area for maximum sun coverage. What if you can just move the solar panel following the sun’s path? You’d get 20-30% more energy using the same amount of equipment.
I think it is worth spending a few hundred dollars to get 20-30% efficiency, every watt counts! I have seen pretty common advice to add more solar panels if you want to get more solar power. This idea isn’t viable in every case. People have their space restrictions plus there is a maintenance cost associated with adding more panels.
The solar tracker also needs some maintenance but you have to see if it is worth it to get some extra efficiency. Your day-to-day maintenance guy can take care of the solar tracker.
What is a solar tracker?
Solar tracker a simple device with multiple sensors which track the sun’s activity and send signals to a motor installed underneath the solar panel to move it following the sun to get maximum efficiency. The solar tracker allows your panels to face the sun all the time.
Depending on the quality of your panels and other equipment, you can get up to 30% extra energy if you use a solar tracker.
When solar tracker penetrated the market, it competes with solar panels. A simple answer a normal consumer would ask, should I add more solar panels instead of using a solar tracker?
Solar companies are always pushing towards selling more panels and solar trackers companies are pushing to use technology and increasing the efficiency of what you have already.
You have to do your math, I can’t give you a straightforward formula to follow, you have to calculate how much your solar panels cost and what you can save if you use a solar tracker.
Some studies suggest it make sense to use a solar tracker in an off-grid situation because a solar tracker helps you to decrease the amount of battery usage and batteries are pretty expensive.
Downsides of solar tracker: The price of the solar panel is decreasing day by day. In the past, it completely made sense to use a solar tracker because buying new solar panels were expensive. But as the price decreases solar tracker might be less attractive.
However, in off-grid installations where batteries store power for overnight use, a solar tracker reduces the hours that stored energy is used thus requiring less battery capacity. Batteries are expensive so it would make sense to use a solar tracker to reduce the cost of batteries.
How to install a solar tracker?
Installing a solar tracker would be easy if you are a technical person. We at lorisense give you complete installation instructions which are pretty much self-explanatory. You can contact our support if you are having any trouble with installation. If you aren’t technical or you don’t want to do it yourself, simply hire a technician or ask your solar installer company to help.
This is a great use of the latest technology. It allows you to increase your solar panel efficiency without adding more solar panels.
However, It would also require maintenance. You don’t have to pay a hefty amount for maintenance. Your normal solar panel maintenance guy can pretty much take care of it.
Other methods to rotate your solar panel
This has been a battleground for solar panel experts for years. There is some flexible solar panel which can be moved easily by hand. But who has the time to manually rotate solar panels all day long?
It does help a little if you have the time to manually move it following the sun but it can’t beat a solar tracker which does it automatically.
To be honest, you don’t have a lot of options for manual solar panel rotation. You have to use some sort of tool to do it automatically.
Manually rotating solar panels doesn’t make economic sense. But if you do have the time and resources to make it work, there are some panels in the market made for easy transportation that can be used as a rotatable solar panel.
These types of solar panels usually have wheels underneath stands and you can easily move them around.