Novel high efficient offline sensorless dual-axis solar tracker for using in photovoltaic systems and solar concentrators

Highlights

Novel high accurate offline sensorless dual-axis solar tracker.

An increase of 19.1%–30.2% depending on the seasons in the energy efficiency.

Very small tracking error of only 0.43°.

Very simple structure.

Fabrication cost much less than sensor based dual-axis solar trackers.

Abstract

In this study, a novel high accurate offline sensorless dual-axis solar tracker is proposed that can be widely used in photovoltaic systems and solar concentrators. The offline estimated data extracted from solar map equations are used by the tracker to find the sun direction where the maximum value of solar energy is captured. The solar tracker has been built, and it is experimentally verified that 19.1%–30.2% more solar energy can be captured depending on the seasons by utilizing the tracker. The contribution of this work is that the proposed offline sensorless dual-axis solar tracker not only has a very simple structure with a fabrication cost much less than sensor based solar trackers but also high accurately tracks the sun direction with a very small tracking error of only 0.43° which is less than the other sensorless and sensor based dual-axis solar trackers reported in the literature excluding the sensor based dual-axis solar trackers equipped with expensive sensors mounted on high accurate mechanical carriers. Furthermore, unlike all sensor based solar trackers, since the technique is offline, the proposed tracker does not use any feedback signal, and thus, its operation is independent from external disturbances and weather conditions such as cloudy sky.

Keywords

  • Sun path;
  • Solar map equations;
  • Solar tracker;
  • Solar energy conversion systems

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