Date / Time Monday, 20 April 2018 08:88

:: Solar Tracking in Australia ::

Fixed Tilted Solar Racking -v- Dual Axis Solar Tracking Racking

Why is Solar TRACKING Racking Superior ?   It's really simple, Dual Axis-solar Radiation Tracking (DART) faces the Solar Panels at the Sun or the Brightest area of the Sky from Sunrise to Sunset, providing Peak Energy Generation up to & over 10 hours per day, where Fixed Tilted (FT) Panels Racking can only Generating Peak Energy for 2 hours maximum a Day, as that is the period the Sun is somewhat perpendicular to the Sun, from Sunrise to Sunset, no matter what direction Fixed Panels are facing!

As an example on a FULL Sunny Day this is how it Calculates for a 6kW Solar Array;

• In Winter the Sun is lower in the Sky, so FT 6kw x 4.5 hours =27kWh Generated Energy per Day.
• In Summer the Sun is higher in the Sky, FT 6kw x 5.5 hours =33kWh Generated Energy per Day.
• Where a 6kW DART Array Generates Peak Energy for 10 hours =60kWh per Day all year!
• NB: Those are Peak energy figures, that obviously excludes Cloudy & Overcast Weather.

It's that simple, DART units cost more, but will generate superior energy with half the panels, for the next 30years!

If any of the figures below, provides your 24 hours energy consumption, that all you need to become totally energy independent, other than energy Storage!

• DART-4 Tracking Unit;
• 4x 445W panels x 10 hours Generation =17.80 kWh/p energy per day.
• 4x 550W panels x 10 hours Generation =22.00 kWh/p energy per day.
• 4x 700W panels x 10 hours Generation =28.00 kWh/p energy per day.
• DART-8 Tracking Unit;
• 8x 445W panels x 10 hours Generation =35.60 kWh/p energy per day.
• 8x 550W panels x 10 hours Generation =44.00 kWh/p energy per day.
• 8x 700W panels x 10 hours Generation =56.00 kWh/p energy per day.

So, that is why we call Fixed Roof-Top solar Racking "Cave-man Racking", as fixed panel racking actually require over double the Solar panels to Generate the same energy as DART!

We advise you to invest in less solar panels and putting the savings towards purchasing a DART unit, as it will reward you immediately by Generating substantially more energy from around 6AM to Sunset ....for decades to come!

FYI: The further South or North of the Equator you live, DART's become more efficient, this is due to the arch of the Sun on the horizon, especially in Winter as the Sun is lower, and thus fixed roof panels only Generate obscure sun's rays, that's why winter energy Generation is always way less for Fixed Panel Racking.

Whilst DART are the best at Generating Solar energy, DART Racking can be set up to be Low & Wide or Tall & Narrow to suit the location.  The size of a DART-4 is approx. the size of an old type 'Hills Hoist', and very easy to install.

If you're planning to install a DART unit in a urban environment, you will be assisting in safeguarding the environment by using less solar panels.  Once the Foundation is installed, the rest of the installation is like assembling a large Meccano set, leaving only the conduit & wiring to be passed by an electrician.

## :: Dual Axis Tracking ::

Dual-axis (two-axis) solar trackers capture the full extent of the sun of up to 12 hours per day by follow the sun completely, relevant to your global location.  The increase in energy captured by dual-axis tracking is increased by up to 100% more than fixed flat panel array, as two-axes of rotation allow the unit to position the solar cells perpendicular (facing directly at the sun) to the sun’s rays from dawn to dusk.

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### :: Single Axis Tracking ::

Single-axis (one-axis image) solar trackers follow the sun from sunrise to sunset as it moves in the sky through the day from east to west only, increasing the energy captured by over 25% more than fixed flat panels racking.

Using a Single-axis Tracker with Tilted Azimuth rotation is a little better, depending on the design, as some designs have a manual tilt, allowing you to change the Latitude tilt several times a years between Summer & Winter to increase the Generation.

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The study below shows a 1~10 kWh Dual-axis Tracker can re-pay the initial investment cost in under 6 years, this is accomplished by replacing the power bill costs by Generating & storing the power produced, then the system owner will no longer have an ongoing power bill for the next 10+ years, Batteries are the turn-key path to true power independence!

What's great about a system with battery ? Batteries allows you to first & foremost send any excess energy you produce straight into the batteries for storage - then as the sun-sets you automatically Generate the stored energy to operate your premises until the next sun-rise, if your batteries are charged to full capacity before sun-set, you then have the choice to export/sell this unused power.   This simple means that from sun-set you will only be using your own stored power, possibly up to the next sun-rise, thus avoiding paying the peak retail price for power during the day and well after sun set - That is how you become power independent!

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## Performance of Fixed Flat Panels v Solar Trackers in Australia

A solar tracker increases the performance of solar PV panels in the shoulder periods of the day, where a static fixed mount panel would only receive obscured sun exposure. This can be seen in the graphs below of side by side solar tracking panels & static fixed panel, the "Ele 30" relates to the latitude location, in Australia between 11~44°, depending on where you live (e.g. North QLD is 11°, South Tasmania is 44°).

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• Single-Axis Tracking can increase Energy production by up to 25% more than Fixed panels.
• Dual-Axis Sun Tracking can increase Energy production by up to 50% more than Fixed panels.
• Dual-Axis Radiation Tracking can increase Energy production by up to 60% more than Fixed panels.
• 24v Linear Actuators & Slew Bearing combination are more reliable, and less vulnerable to storm damage.
• 24v Double-Axis Slew Bearing Trackers are Heavy Duty, with less risk of mechanical breakdowns.

• An added up-front cost to your solar installation, but is recovered by increased Harvesting.
• Commercial Motorised Slew bearing are more expensive than cheap lightweight shaft motorised versions.
• Moving parts and added complexity come with the usual pitfalls of risk of breakdown with lightweight residential components.
• Residential lightweight tracker are Structurally less rigid, so are more vulnerable to storm damage.

Solar tracker performance for various locations around Australia is shown using the links below. The modelling has been undertaken using the Photo Voltaic Watts Performance Calculator for Grid-Connected Systems designed by the Renewable Resource Data Centre, part of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The figures below take all of the necessary factors into account, including meteorological factors such as average cloud cover and temperature loss factors etc.

 The latitude tables below shows, installing a single-axis solar tracker will boost your energy output in Sydney over the year by 20%, 25% for a dual-axis tracker. Yearly average increase in energy output (kWh) due to being either Tilted to single-axis and double-axis solar PV tracking unit. The above chart shows the Latitude locations.

Solar Harvesting Potential

 City Latitude Flat Panel   Harvesting  Increase Latitude Tilted   Harvesting Increase Single-axis Tracker  Harvesting Increase Dual-axis Tracker  Harvesting Increase Cape York (QLD) 11° 0% 7% 14% 20% Darwin (NT) 12° 0% 7% 14% 20% Cairns (QLD) 17° 0% 8% 16% 22% Broome (WA) 18° 0% 8% 16% 22% Townsville (QLD) 20° 0% 9% 17% 23% Port Hedland (WA) 20° 0% 9% 17% 23% Rockhampton (QLD) 23° 0% 9% 17% 23% Alice Springs (NT) 24° 0% 9% 17% 23% Brisbane (QLD) 27° 0% 10% 18% 25% Tamworth (NSW) 31° 0% 11% 20% 27% Perth (WA) 31° 0% 11% 20% 27% Newcastle (NSW) 33° 0% 11% 21% 28% Sydney (NSW) 34° 0% 12% 21% 28% Canberra (NSW) 35° 0% 13% 22% 29% Adelaide (SA) 35° 0% 13% 22% 29% Melbourne (VIC) 37° 0% 16% 27% 34% Hobart (TAS) 42° 0% 21% 30% 37% Yes, Perth Latitude is actually at a higher latitude than Sydney!

The above figures shows the average increase in Energy Generation for a Fixed Tilted, Single-axis and Double-axis PV solar arrays.

A guide to kWh Generation to expect from each solar mounting system.

 City Fixed Flat mount*  (kWh/year 1kW system) Tilted Fixed Panel +8%  (kWh/year 1kW system) Single Axis Tracker +20~25%  (kWh/year 1kW system) Dual Axis Tracker +25~45%   (kWh/year 1kW system) Darwin 1570 1695 1888 1959 Brisbane 1405 1517 1695 1761 Perth 1354 1462 1704 1785 Sydney 1460 1576 1756 1826 Canberra 1449 1564 1816 1906 Adelaide 1471 1588 1849 1886 Melbourne 1234 1220 1840 1920 Hobart 1180 1270 1868 1980

*Fixed mount baseline figures provided by Australian owners/installers, to the Clean Energy Council (CEC).

We don't think much of the CEC, they appear to be another department set up to charge Electricians over \$5'000 per year to simply get on there website list of installers, working electrician should already be certified!   Besides that most Solar panels operate on 12V~48V DC current (Non lethal voltage vehicles operate on), and not at all dangerous until the DC voltage is wired to an inverter, that in turn converted DC power to 240 Volt AC or higher for commercial applications.

Any decent Electrician would not need to advertise if they are reputable installers, and would be better off spending the money on there own web-site, as word of mouth is a good indication of the service they offer!

 Click images to get e better look at that different power generated between Flat panel, Single-Axis Tracking and what Dual-Axis Tracking can Generate/produce in up 14+hours of Peak power per day, depending on your latitude location. The power you can Generate from each installation, largely relates to your Latitude and mounting system. This graph clearly shows what happens when a customer initially installed a 10kWh fixed Solar array to reduce there power bills, prior to the rebate becoming 8c/kWh in 2023.   Whilst the 10kWh fixed panel array was exporting half the power into the state grid for little return, and after 4pm the customer has to pay approx. 400% more for there power!   Where as shown in Red, 5kWh Dual Axis Tracking generation spreads the factory daytime power. With the state grid feed-in rebate so low, we consider customers with existing solar array larger than the daily consumption, are foolish not to invest in Energy storage and self consume all there own power!  Instead what happens, the customers excess power is sold to there neighbours by the electricity retailers at over 400% profit, and after sunset the solar array owner have to pay 400% more than there rebate! In this graph you can see how a 5kWh Dual-Axis Tracking produces almost double fixed panel power per day, and all the daytime factory power, from this point onwards the customer just needs to add one or two additional solar panels and a small battery bank, to instantly cover the factory's overnight requirements, and become energy independent. The great thing about being energy independent, it allows you to choose what you want to do with any excess energy.   If you are already there, you should get involved in Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading, as it will become the future of the energy sector.

So, if your intention is to simply get your system paid off by replacing your electricity costs, then there are two main ways to accomplish this;

1. Purchase a Solar Array larger than your daily usage, where it only supplies power to operate your premises during daylight, whilst the lion share of power is exported to the State Grid for a feed-in tariff of 8~11 c/kWh.
But Remember, without battery storage you will be paying the Full retail rate of approx. 27 c/kWh after sunset !
2. Purchase a battery bank - then import all your solar power (and any other) into the battery bank via a Hybrid Inverter, once the batteries are full, you then have the choice to do what you want with your power!

The smartest method is the latter, by automatically sending excess power straight to your batteries - This simple means that after sun-set you will only be Harvesting Power from your batteries until the next sun-rise, thus avoiding paying peak retail price for power during the day and after sun set. That is how you become Power independent quicker!

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You can simulated your own Micro Grid re-payment Calculations.

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The cost for a DART-4 (4x 700W Panel) Dual Axis Tracker and 10.24kWh batteries costs *\$10'000.00;

1. After *5.2 years this system breaks-even, after replacing a \$1'450 per year power bill.
2. At 10 years, this system provided 4.8 years @\$2'675 =\$6'960 Profit/Saving.
3. At 15 years, this system provide 9.8 years @\$2'675 year =\$14'210 Profit/Saving.
4. At 20 years, this system provide 14.8 years @\$2'675 year =\$21'460 Profit/Saving etc...

Up front cost for 2.10kW solar array, dual-axis Kit, and 24kWh batteries as above is *\$14'630.00;

1. After *4.5 years this system breaks-even, after replacing a \$2'675 per year power bill.
2. At 10 years, this system provides 5.5 years @\$2'675 =\$14'710 Profit/Saving.
3. At 15 years, this system provide 10.5 years @\$2'675 year =\$28'090 Profit/Saving.
4. At 20 years, this system provide 15.5 years @\$2'675 year =\$41'460 Profit/Saving etc...

# Case study 3: 4.20kW Dual axis solar tracker installed in Sydney

Up front cost for 4.20kW solar array, dual-axis Kit, and 52kWh batteries as above is *\$22'860.00;

1. After *4.7 years this system breaks-even, after replacing a \$4'925 per year power bill.
2. At 10 years, this system provides 5.30 years @\$4'925 =\$26'100 Profit/Saving.
3. At 15 years, this system provide 10.30 years @\$4'925 year =\$50'725 Profit/Saving.
4. At 20 years, this system provide 15.30 years @\$4'925 year =\$75'350 Profit/Saving etc...

(*) Estimations based on Exchange Rate \$0.75, and Max kWh generated using Dual Axis-solar Trackers, including grid service charges & equipment costs, excludes installation costs!

The above study show the economics of solar trackers, the return on investment is substantial after the break-even period, as the return would be even greater, if you sell what would normally be stored & unused energy in your batteries via P2P Energy Trading a bespoke electricity retailer, that in turn increased the Feed-in-Tarrif per kWh of power you export into the state grid, whereby you simply replacing the need to use the common electricity Retailers that pay @\$0.06kWh.   You should note the "break even cost" is not really an income until after you pass the break-even time period, but simply a saving on having to outlay your funds to pay for electricity, thus you can use the funds to pay your mortgage or other investments like Superannuation or lifestyle choices etc.

The barrier to grid solutions is the double dip by transmission providers charging for input and output, so regulation needs to change, this will not happen until our incompetent politicians on both sides, stop lining there own pockets, with there deceptive insider perks, and start acting on behalf of the people!

NB: Solar Arrays without Energy storage, will provide little return on investment using the 6~8 cents/kWh Retailer feed-in tariff, thus you have simply remained enslaved to the State Grid & electrical Retailers, by choosing to continue paying the retail price for power after sunset!

The purpose of Dual Axis-solar Tracking is to generate substantially more power than a standard fixed flat panel Solar array, improving generation increases independence, when solar is used with batteries you can sell your energy via Power Ledger for a better return, when using approved Energy storage, Batteries will eventually get fully charged from time to time, especially if your power usage reduces or you choose to generator more power via other methods like Aqua or Wind.

We only recommend purchasing a multi voltage Hybrid inverter, and 72~96 call 300~350W solar panels, don't be fooled into purchasing 60 cell 200~250W solar panels, as they Generate 30% less power & more panels are required, creating a larger footprint to produce the same power.

An over size inverter will let you control every aspect of your future power production and distribution, the smart hybrid-inverters are designed to handle multiple input voltage from several power sources, such as Solar, Wind, Aqua, Battery and even Generator input, ours generators all come with built in Battery charge management, that once programmed, can automatically start or shut-down as programmed.