Solar Trackers – When do they make sense?

Are you wondering what solar trackers are? Or are you wondering if they are a viable solution for your solar domestic set-up? Here we explain their applications, limitations and costs.

Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning the fact that solar trackers are very rarely used for domestic installations and are nearly always used for large scale commercial applications.

This is mainly due to their inherent cost and the space required to house them.

With that said, let’s explain their benefits and common application scenarios…

What are Solar Trackers?

Solar trackers aid in positioning solar panels to follow the sun, thereby increasing the amount of sunlight received and resulting in a higher amount of energy generation.

They have the ability to alter the tilt of ground-mounted solar panel arrays.

However, the cost and upkeep requirements of solar trackers make them more suitable for commercial solar setups rather than residential ground-mounted systems.

How do Solar Trackers Work?

Solar trackers are systems that help solar panels follow the sun’s movements to increase energy generation.

Unlike fixed solar arrays, they adjust the panels to maintain a perpendicular angle with the incoming sunlight, called the angle of incidence.

A smaller angle of incidence leads to greater power production, and by tracking the sun, the panels remain perpendicular to it, maximizing energy output.

Types of Solar Trackers

Solar trackers are classified into two main categories based on their movement capabilities:

  • Single-axis solar trackers
  • Dual-axis solar trackers

Single-axis trackers can move along a north-south axis, tilting in the direction of the sun as it moves from east to west.

Dual axis trackers, on the other hand, can move in two directions, with one axis functioning as the single-axis tracker and the second axis having an east-west orientation, allowing the panels to also change their angle from north to south.

This allows for maximum output during different seasons when the sun’s angle relative to the panels changes.

Related solar guides:

How Much Do Solar Trackers Cost?

The cost of solar trackers in the UK varies depending on factors such as the size of the solar array, the type of tracker, the manufacturer, and the location.

A rough estimate for a single axis system is between £2,000 and £5,000, while a dual axis system can cost anywhere from £4,000 to £10,000 or more.

The actual cost may differ based on a variety of factors, and it is best to consult with a specialist for a more accurate estimate.

Get a free estimate for your solar with the experts at Heatable:

  • It’s free, easy, and without obligation
  • Compare quotes & get the best prices
  • Save up to £660 per year
Get Quotes Now
Heatable Logo

Are Solar Trackers Worth the Investment?

For commercial ground-mounted solar arrays, solar trackers can be a valuable investment.

They can increase energy output by as much as 25% for single axis trackers and an additional 10% for dual axis trackers.

However, solar trackers are not typically used in residential solar installations due to their weight and unsuitability for domestic roofs.

Additionally, they are costly, have moving parts, and require frequent maintenance, making them more practical for large commercial solar farms where the additional expenses can be justified.

Recommended reading: