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tracking array

A solar array that follows the path of the sun to maximize the solar radiation incident on the photovoltaic surface. The two most common orientations are:
  • One-axis where the array tracks the sun east to west – used mostly with flat-plate systems and occasionally with concentrator systems.
  • Two-axis tracking where the array points directly at the sun at all times – used primarily with PV concentrator systems.
Tracking arrays use both direct and diffuse sunlight. Two-axis tracking arrays capture the maximum possible daily energy. Typically, a single-axis tracker will give 15% to 25% more power per day than a fixed array, and dual-axis tracking will add about 5% to that. The exact gains will depend somewhat on latitude and season.

For more information, see solar tracker.

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