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How to Install a Dual Axis-solar Radiation Trackers (DART's)

This page is updated as new information is added.

Installing a DART unit is basically a six stage process;

  1. Decide on the Solar Panel Ground Clearance & the Ground Usage below the Solar Racking.
  2. The Best location to install a DART Unit, is obviously an area with Maximum exposure to the Sun.
  3. Select a Foundation Type, this is dictated by the Ground Type & Soil Condition.
  4. Is a Geo-Teck Survey needed before Digging Trenches, commonly in Rural land ? No, may be needed in Urban locations.
  5. These are the basic Rules when Digging a Trench for Conduit and Cabling.
  6. Installing a DART Foundation, this is dictated by the Soil & Ground type, or can be secured too an existing Concrete Slab.
  7. Assembling & Erecting a DART Mast & Solar Racking.
  8. Testing & Setting-up the 24V Electronic DART Tracking Controller.
  9. NB: DART Arrays provide 25% Yearly Return-On-Investment (ROI), no matter what Sized Solar Array, and that's for the next 30years!
  10. The Best Advice we can give People looking to become Totally Power Independent, is invest in Energy Storage equal to or greater than there largest kWh of Energy they consumed per Day, as commonly that will provide enough energy to get them through 2~3 days extended Bad Weather, as your DART will be generating Energy during this time, and Not need to import Energy from the Rip-off Energy Retailers, that Don't actually provide you anything other than a Bill.
  11. The last investment to become Totally Power Independent is a 4.5kWh Generator that is equipped with a Starter motor, that allows Automatically Starting by the Inverters we supply, commonly Generators are only used a few days a Year during Extended Bad Weather if you have inverted in the correct kWh of Energy Storage, as all Solar array will still be Generating Energy during overcast Weather.

If Researching Dual Axis-solar Tracking (DAT) Racking,

below are the Historic and latest State of Art Light Tracking Controllers;

  1. "Dual Axis-solar Radiation Tracking" (DART) is irrefutably superior at Harvesting the Maximum Solar Energy per day than all other methods.  What makes the difference is the introduction of a light sensor, that constantly reads the brightness of the Sky, and automatically moves the solar racking to either face perpendicular to the Sun, or at the Brightest area of the Sky during Cloudy or bad Weather.  NB: DART tracking has been proven to Generate up to 60% more Energy per Year than all Fixed & Fixed Tilted Solar Racking, it should be noted, DART Tracking generates more Energy the Further South or North of the Equator they are installed, all due to the Arch or the Sun through the Sky !
  2. "GPS Tracking" & "Time Tracking" uses Algorithms that if setup correctly automatically faces the solar racking to where the Sun is, however during Cloudy/Overcast Weather both becomes inferior, as other areas of the Sky are Brighter during this type of weather, making GPS & Time Tracking inferior to Radiation Tracking above !
  3. "Passive Tracking", was the first of the Automatic Solar Tracking Technology, as they use Gas/Oil ballast tank that is exposed to the Sun, and as the Gas/Oil heats up, the racking automatically follows the Sun, these were one of the very first successful Passive DART designs, however Energy Generation falls well short on Overcast & Cold Windy Weather.
  4. "Manually Adjustable" Solar Racking was the First attempt and by nature a time consuming job, however it allows for substantially more Energy to be Harvested by manually moving the solar racking to face towards the sun when there is a need to Generate more energy.

1) Solar Panel Ground Clearance & Land Usage below the Solar Racking: 

Ground Mounted Solar Racking Ground Clearance is often NOT discussed by many Sales people & Installers for either Commercial or Residential Solar Array !

All Sales people & Installers should be explaining this with there customers, as selling low mounted Solar Racking is the easiest, quickest & most Profitable Racking to Install.

Unfortunately Low Ground Mounted Solar Racking is a compromise between "Installer Profit" and Solar Farm Owners "Return On Investment" (ROI), as lower mounted racking is Quicker & easier to install, but increases the Mowing/Slashing Costs for the Next 30+ years of operation!

The Lowest Ongoing Maintenance Cost is Provided when Solar Racking is at lease 150cm off the Ground, as this provides a Shorter ROI due to not needing to Mow/Slash the vegetation as often, that is commonly a bi-monthly event will be extended out to a 6~12 month event, as most native Grasses & plants rarely grow over 150cm tall.

Solar Panel with 150cm ground clearance at sunrise, will have approx. 250cm ground clearance for most of the Day, allowing for easier Mowing/Slashing of the Ground, and that provides a Quicker ROI, that will be for the Next 30+Years!

NB: We estimate it Costs the Solar Farm owner 300% more to Slash, Spray & Maintain the Ground Beneath low mounted Solar Racking, this is where pole mounted DART Racking is Superior, yes DART Racking Costs more, the Big Win is way less ground maintenance & Substantially more Energy generated.

Agri-PV: Is becoming a New type of Solar Array, installed High above an Agricultural Crop or Area that is growing crops, there are Horizontal DART Racking that provide up to 7mt High pivot point, taller is possible.

Agri-PV is beneficial to most Crops and also reduces the use of Water, largely due to the partial Shading moving over the ground through the day, that in turn reduces evaporation beneath the Solar Racking.

2) Best Installation Location: 

The ideal installation location is in an area that captures the most amount of the Sun's rays, preferably an area without shading from Trees, Buildings & Terrain etc.

If there happens to be some partial shading, consider using half-cell Solar Module technology, however that is usually taken care of by the MPPT Charge controller, as a MPPT is designed to improve Generation in areas with partial shading.   Click-Here to see other Solar module types.

In the Sydney region a DART installed in a clear area free of shading, will Harvest approx. 10 hours of Peak Sunlight per day, and the further South (or North) of the Equator you live, the more energy a DART unit will generate, all due to the axis of the sun through the sky!

This is the main reasons Fixed Tilted Solar Racking ONLY capture equal to 4~5 hours of sunlight per day, as the obscure angle of the sun on the panels greatly reduces the amounts of energy harvested, where this image shows the daily energy difference a DART unit Harvests an additional 5+ hours of sunlight per day.

3) DART Foundation Type: 

Installing the foundation for DART is considered the second most difficult part of the installation, after digging the Trenches for the Electrical Conduit.

There are Three main types of DART Foundations as follows;

  1. Double Flanged Foundation Pole:
    Is the simplest & easiest Foundation to Concreted-in;
    1. DART-4 unit with a 90cm~130cm Foundation Pole, need 60cm diameter x 130~160cm deep hole.
    2. DART-8 unit with a 130cm~230cm Foundation Pole, needs 60cm x 150cm~250cm deep hole.
    3. Bespoke DART-8-VAWT unit may need a Tripod Foundation & Pole, See: image-1- image-2 - image-3.
    4. DART-15 unit with a 230cm~300cm Foundation Pole, needs 90cm x 250cm~330cm deep hole.

    All Foundation Poles are designed for Firm Ground or Firmer Clay at worst, and should have minimum 30cm Concrete beneath the bottom Pole Flange to spread the Vertical load.

  2. Double Flanged Foundation Pole with Three (3) Bracing Arm, using Concrete:
    If unsure of the Ground Stability, it's better to install a Tripod Foundation with Loading Arms or make your own X shaped Load Stabilising Arms, using Re-Bars simply laid horizontally at Ground level in a 30cm X Trench.  A 30cm float will stop potential sinking over time.  Keep in mind, the higher the Main Mast the higher the solar panel ground clearance will be, and this creates more force in high wind conditions, so the deeper the Foundation Pole the better.
  3. NB: If required a foundation pole can be cemented into a free-standing Cement block, for easy re-location of a DART if required.

  4. Six (6) Arm Spider Foundation, using up to 13x Ground Screw:
    Is the latest & greatest foundation technology, as it acts like the roots on a Tree, spreading the load across a larger area, and this foundation type does NOT require any Cement, obviously the Ground Screws hold the DART unit in place, ground screws are manufactured for Sand, Soil, Clay & even Rock.   The Ground Screws are screwed into the ground with either a Portable geared, High-Torque electric drill or a commercial Hydraulic driver mounted on a Excavator/Tractor, make the job a lot Easier, Quicker, Better than a Concrete foundation block, and ground screw foundations use less resources & can be operational on the same day!
  5. Concrete Pylon Casings or Cement Block Foundation:
    A Concrete Pylon Foundation or Cement & Pylon Block or Pylon are the traditional method used for to hold up commercial buildings, these can also be used for DART larger than a DART-15 unit, as they requires a hole drilled & the insertion of a Caged Re-bar, or a heavier Caged Concrete foundation is commonly used, remembering Cement may need to cure for 2~3 days before assembling the weight of the DART unit.
  6. Ground Screws & Pile Foundations:
    Ground-screws and Piles are commonly just single large diameter, Hollow & stronger Steel Cylinder, as the Threaded type drill themselves into ground, that varies from Soil to Sandstone & Remains installed there after Screwing/Driving/Drilling into place.  Structural engineer grade Steel varying from 450 grade steel for High pressure loads should be used, all depending on the Application and loads that will be placed on the Ground Screws/Piles by the DART’s above ground Structure.
    For Ground with Rocks & Sandstone, special Piles are used that have the Tips of the Pile welded with Tungsten Teeth, much like a Concrete drill bit, as obviously they will need to be able to penetrate the Rock to secure the Pile.   Rock Piles obviously costs more and will range from $250~$5'000 each, depending on the outside Diameter that can range from 20cm~150cm, the Drilling Rig hire costs starts from $150 hour to Screw/Drill them into the ground.

4) Geo-Tech Engineering: 

On Rural land it's not as common or dangerous as most Farmlands don't have buried infrastructure below ground.

However, for Ground around Urban Towns & Infrastructure, it is advisable to call "Dial-Before-U-Dig" or obtain a Geo-Tech Test Drill report to know what lays below the Ground, especially near Buildings.

The main reason is to eliminate the possibility of interfering with buried infrastructure and unknown Geology, this is commonly done by Geo-Tech Drilling 100mm pilot holes, cost will be upwards of $500 per 5mt deep hole, commonly attracts a minimum Charge based on Distance Travelled & Meter-age of Holes Required.

5) Trenching for Electrical Conduit & Cabling: 

Large 50mm diameter Orange Electrical Conduit should be Runs from the DART Units to where the Inverter is installed.

However, Cabling can be done several ways, from laying XLPE Cabling (steel wired Armoured Cable), can be run above ground OR buried, normally wiring is buried in Conduit, burying the Conduit is best as it reduces the energy losses over long distances, another method is to run conduit suspended on fencing wire between star picket posts, installing this method, UV stable conduit should be used.

However, the best method is to Bury the wiring in Large 50mm Diameter Orange Electrical Conduit (image), the legal minimum depth is 60cm deep, with Warning Tape laid 20cm above the Conduit to tell anyone digging that there are power cables below.

TRENCHING: We understand if there is NO Vehicle Traffic, Conduit only Needs to be 30cm Deep, however the deeper the better, as there is less chance of the Conduit being crushed if Vehicles happen to be driven over the trench.

If the DART Control box uses 240V, we advise you can run 15A Caravan extension lead or Cabling you can purchase from most Caravan outlets, as it is usually cheaper & better suited for the job.

If you intend to Claim the Government Renewable Energy Credits (REC's), an Electrical Compliance certificate is Required to be obtained via a Clean Energy Council (CEC) Electrician, they are Certified Electricians that are versed on installing Micro Power Grids that include Solar, Wind & Energy Storage systems.

IMPORTANT: Remember, you should ONLY use DC isolator switched on DC Wiring !

This is largely due to High DC voltage being able to arch across AC isolator contacts and burn out the switch, as the contact posts on AC switches are closer together.

DC isolator switches are only a few extra $, and DC wiring is NOT up-to-code unless DC isolator switches are used.

The added advantage of running wiring in conduit, it allows you to add additional wiring if you later decide to add additional DART's or even a Wind Turbine.

If you are installing Ground mounted DART units where the Voltage is higher than 120V DC or 50V AC, supposedly require all Exposed electrical wiring need to be in conduit if reach of people.

With regards to XLPE cable (steel wired Armoured), this can be laid over the ground, however it is safer if buried in the ground or in conduit complete with Safety tape as above.

6) Installing a DART Foundation: 

There are several Foundation options for of a DART Unit, these all relate to the Ground Type & Size of the DART Racking.

  1. A Double Flanged Foundation Pole is for Firm Ground, these vary from 130cm to 300cm Deep footing, Cemented into a 60cm~90cm Diameter Augured Hole.
  2. There is also a Tripod Braced Version of the Double Flanged Foundation Pole, used for Softer Clay or Loose Ground.
  3. A 6 Leg Ground Screw Spider Foundation can be used without the need for Cement, or can be Mounted onto a Concrete Slab where their is one.
  4. A Large Caged Cement Block is the old school Foundation that requires Rebar-steel & a lot of Cement.

If the Ground is Soil is Soft, Loose or Clay type, a Tripod Double Flanged Foundation Pole may be need or a Double Flanged Foundation Pole installed Deeper in the Ground.

Electrical Conduit & Cabling should be run in through Conduit hole & up the centre of the Foundation Pole before the Concrete is poured, or run up the outside next to the mounting Flange.

The Top Mounting Flange should only need to be set 10cm above the top of the Foundation Cement, obviously this is to allow the Bouts to be inserter from beneath the Flange.

IMPORTANT: You should Align two opposite Foundation Bolts on the Foundation to Face North/South, then when you mount the Control Housing on the South Side of the Mast it will be set square to the North!

After the Foundation Cement has dried, if cement is used, the next step is Assembling the DART unit.

7) Assembling a Erecting a DART Unit: 

The assembly of a DART Unit is not that difficult if you are reasonably mechanically skilled.

You First job is to fit the Main Mast atop the Foundation Flange, and then assemble the remainder of the Beams & Solar Racking above that.

There are several ways to accomplish the Assembly of a DART Unit;

  • Use Scaffolding or Cherry Picker to get to the Height of the top of the Main Mast.
  • Some Farmers use the back of the Ute’s with bales of Hay & move the Ute around as required.
  • Assembling the all the Beams, Solar Racking & Solar Panels at Ground Level, and taking out the Centre Panels & Craning the whole Array into position & bolt it on.
  • NEW: Use a 100cm high Mast Hinge, this then requires a Shorter Main Mast and allows the Whole fully assembled DART Unit, inc. Solar Panels to be Raised using a Hydraulic Cylinder!

We have designed & looking to get Mast Hinges Manufactured to suit various sized DART units, a Mast Hinge allows for the whole DART Unit to be assembled at Ground level & Raised into place, and if required it also allows for the Lowering for Maintenance.

This is DART-1 unit uses a single 8 Ton long reach Hydraulic Cylinder, Two Air Controlled Hydraulic Cylinders could be used for a Larger DART Unit, the Hydraulic Cylinder(s) are designed to be Removed once Raised, and stored or used on the Next DART Unit or re-installed to Lower for Maintenance.

If you have lifting Equipment, you could assemble the whole DART unit on Trestles, then Raise & Bolt onto the Foundation.

A Mast Hinge allows two things, the Full Assembly of the DART unit at Ground Level & that Eliminates the need for Scaffolding & Ladders, other to Adjust the Stop sensors if incorrectly set.

WARNING: Precautions need to be considered based on the Soil & Foundation type used, as the Fulcrum of lifting the larger & Heaver DART units may require horizontal bracing of the baseplate of the Mast Hinge, before attempting to Raised & Lower the unit, or the Foundations may shift or compromise the Foundation if the footings move!

If unsure, one could use an Excavator to assist in the initial raising of the mast to approx. 45°, there after it will not be such a problem.

8) DART Testing & Performance: 

Dual Axis-solar Radiation Trackers (DART) Harvests the most energy per Day than ANY other Racking type, DART Racking is more complex, and are more expensive to purchase & Install.

However, the big pay-off is a DART Harvests Peak Energy for over double the hours per day of any Fixed Tilted Racking, and a DART Racking requires 1/2 the solar panels, all whilst providing a 25% per year Return-on-investment (ROI) than Fixed Solar Racking.

Example: A DART-8 (8 panels) unit Harvests the same energy as 16 solar panels on a Fixed Tilted Roof-top or Ground mounted racking, all due to Peak sun's energy only striking Fixed roof or ground mounted panels for just 2 hours per day, then the remainder of the day shoulder energy is harvested, where a DART racking captures 10+ hours peak Harvesting per day! 

Our DART Kits are purposely over-engineered, each DART come with a minimum 18~60cm diameter thick walled Mast & Foundation Pole, a Stainless Steel Control box housing with east~west Tracking via either one or two heavy duty 24V Slew-bearing or north~south Tilt Tracking via a 24V Linear Actuator, we are phasing out the use of Linear Actuators & replacing with superior Slew Bearings.

Studies show investing in Dual Axis-solar Array take 3~4 years to Return-On-Income (ROI) of the initial investment cost, this is done by replacing you're energy/power bill and self consuming all the energy generated, this can only be done when matched with the correct sized Energy Storage, then the system owner will no longer have a Power bill for the next 25+ years, obviously having the correct energy storage capacity is the intelligent turn-key part of a system.

What great about a Energy Storage ? It first & foremost stores what would normally be wasted/excess energy for later consumption!

So basically, any excess generated energy Not being consumed, is first sent to charge your batteries to full capacity - then during further Excess Generation you have the choice to switch on say an Air-conditioner or if Grid connected, sell your Excess energy to the State Grid for a Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) or Peer-2-Peer Energy Trading (P2P) - This simple means that at Solar sunset you will be consuming your own energy from your Batteries until Sun-rise, thus eliminate paying the retailer price of 300% more for State Grid Power after Solar sunset & during the day if needed - That is how you become energy independent !

A long standing Clean Energy Con most people overlook: If you're an Energy Station/Generator, e.g. have Solar/Wind/Hydro/Bio-gas etc. You should Not have to Pay to be connected to the State Grid, as Micro-Grids are Cleaner & Greener that any Coal Fired Power Station!

Dual Axis-solar Trackers & Equipment

Foundation Pole. 60cm Foundation Hole. Pole set to North direction.

90cm~130cm Foundation Pole should have 20~30cm of cement beneath the bottom flange to take the vertical load, preventing shrinkage.


A DART-4 or DART-8 requires a 60cm diameter x 160 deep foundation hole, with 30cm cement below the foundation pole for vertical length.


The top Flange of the foundation pole should be just above ground level, if not installing in a block of Cement.

Wide DART-4 Unit.   Narrow DART-4 Unit.   DART-8 Unit.

DART-4 Unit:

Old design Wide stand DARTR-4 unit with Liner Actuator & Slew Bearing.

Click here to see NEW Double Slew DART-4 Design option, the  Racking Ground Clearance can be from 30cm.


Bespoke DART-4 Unit:

Narrow stand DART-4 unit with Two Slew Bearings was later converted into a DART-6 unit to Harvest more Energy. Click image to see Converter unit.


DART-8 Unit:

Design with Linear Actuator for North/South Tilt & Slew Bearing for East/West Rotation.

DART-15 Tracker.   Spider Foundation.   6 Arm Spider Foundation.

DART-15 in Stow position


Spider Foundation

Dina-Bolt to Concrete slab.


Ground Screw Foundation

for Sand, Soil, Clay or Rock.

NEW Dual Axis Radiation Tracker.   Magnetic Stop Sensors.   WIND Speed Sensor.

New DART Radiation Tracker:

Fitted into Control Housing.


Rotational Stop Kit:

inc. Wires, Bolts & Bracket.


WIND Speed Sensor:

inc. Wires, bolts & Bracket.

Soil Ground Screw.   Rock Ground Screw.

Ground Earth Screws

Ground Screws are manufactured in various lengths, diameters and are suitable for different ground conditions from Sand, Soil, Clay and special Rock screws are available.

Page last updated: 13-May-2024.


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