Solar Tracking System Design Proccess
Our in-house solar tracker system has been designed and manufactured by Australian Bore Pumps. The tracker was designed specifically for the most popular solar pump systems that we have installed, Australian designed and manufactured, to suit the harsh outback conditions.
Our aim was to increase the efficiency and amount of solar power available to the solar pump inverter, with the effect of increasing the overall efficiency of the Solar Pumping system.
One of the issues we had to consider was wind loading, in category D. Our previous 10 / 12 panel fixed unit could be anchored on the sides – but not the tracker.
Using the higher more efficient solar panels supplied by Sunpower (USA), we were able to cut the requirement of solar panels from 12 panels back to 6 panels. The main objective of this was wind loading.
Cutting back from 12 to 6 solar panels – we produced more solar energy in a given day – hence more water. The tracker is active – every 5 seconds it calculates and moves the solar panels into the optimum position – avoids clouds and obstacles blocking it from producing solar power to the pump.
After 12 months of design and testing the first models were sold and a great success. Results showed that we were able to pump more than 40% more water in a given day.
The initial tests over a two-day period and on each day, we measured the available solar irradiation which was surprisingly constant at 1400W per square meter.
The first two days we tracked the sun and measured the amount of water pumped at a set head pressure (500Kpa).
Then using the same test rig with the same equipment, we switched the tracker system off leaving the solar panels facing North at the optimum elevation from the horizontal (20 Degrees – Dec).
The test results are in a table below.
We are now onto version 3 – as with most good designs it takes a few field models to finalize the design. With over 100 – 2 axis trackers installed in the field powering the AC1 and AC2 solar pumps. The current model is supplied plug and play – with no site wiring required.
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