Connectivity Solutions for Solar Tracking Systems

Photovoltaic energy is the third-largest renewable energy source after hydro-power and wind energy. According to the International Energy Agency, the photovoltaic industry will grow by 700-800 GW between 2019 and 2024.

On the other hand, the global photovoltaic market was valued at USD 53.916 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 333.7251 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 25.1% from 2019 to 2026.

Due to population growth, the demand for sustainable energy is growing. Solar PV trackers allow solar panels to follow the sun’s path across the sky to increase solar energy production.

This article will offer a guide about everything you need to know about solar trackers. In addition, we will also introduce to you WEIPU‘s connector solution for the photovoltaic industry.


Solar tracking systems overview

Solar tracking systems orient photovoltaic panels towards the sun to collect solar energy from photovoltaic cells. When solar trackers are combined with solar panels, the panels can follow the sun’s path and generate more renewable energy.

When a solar panel is exposed to sunlight, the angle of the sun’s rays to the surface of the solar panel determines the panel’s ability to convert incoming light into electricity. Solar panels need to be kept perpendicular to the sun’s rays for maximum energy. For this reason, solar trackers are fundamental to maximizing energy production.

How the solar tracker moves depend on the type of system used. Solar tracking systems can be divided into several types:

  • Single-axis vs dual-axis solar trackers
  1. Single-axis solar tracker

A single-axis tracker moves your panel in one axis of motion, usually aligned north-south. This type of solar tracker allows your panels to bend from east to west and track the sun as it rises and sets, increasing the system’s efficiency.

In general, single-axis solar trackers are typically used in utility-scale projects. Horizontal single-axis solar tracking systems can increase 25 to 35 percent energy production.

  1. Dual-axis solar tracker

Dual-axis trackers allow your panel to move in two axes, aligned north-south and east-west. This type of system is designed to maximize your solar energy collection throughout the year by using algorithms and sensors to track seasonal changes in the sun’s altitude and normal daily movements.

In general, dual-axis trackers apply in residential and small commercial solar projects with limited space. In addition, a dual-axis solar tracking system increases energy production by approximately 40%.

  • Active vs passive solar trackers
  1. Active solar tracker

This type of solar tracker uses electric motors or hydraulic cylinders that can change the position of the solar panels through an array of sensors, actuators, microcontrollers, power drivers, and motors. While active solar trackers are more convenient than manual trackers, the moving parts inside the motor can be easily damaged.

  1. Passive solar tracker

On the other hand, passive solar trackers move by using heat from the sun to heat gas. As the gas expands, it causes mechanical movement of the solar panel. As the sun moves and the gas cools, it compresses again, and the panels move back. Passive solar trackers are not efficient at low temperatures because the liquid inside the tracker usually takes time to heat up.


Benefits of solar tracking systems

  • More power

One of the biggest advantages of the solar tracking system is the increased energy output. In general, horizontal single-axis trackers can increase solar panel productivity by 20-35%.

  • Reduce long-term maintenance costs

Maintenance costs for self-powered solar trackers are relatively low. Advances in technology have made the electronics and mechanisms of solar system trackers more reliable.

  • Save space

Solar tracking systems help minimize the amount of space used for solar installations. The smaller the size of the solar system, the cheaper it is to run it.


Connector requirements

The design objectives of photovoltaic systems connectors must include:

  1. Ability to string panels together quickly with minimal labor time and effort
  2. Keyed pairs of connectors to keep polarity foolproof and simple
  3. Forced locking after installation to prevent unnecessary disconnection
  4. Minimal or no special tools
  5. Ability to accommodate different sizes of wire
  6. Safety certification (UL, IEC)
  7. Materials must comply with global substance restrictions such as EU RoHS and REACH
  8. UV radiation resistant and waterproof (IP67)
  9. Low contact resistance to minimize losses


How WEIPU can help you


WEIPU was established in 1996, specializing in industrial connector equipment, providing one-stop solutions.

WEIPU has a professional design and development team of more than 50 people, which can develop various industrial connectors according to customers’ special requirements. Additionally, our products are certified to RoHs, CE, CSA, and UL quality requirements.

WEIPU’s connector solutions for the solar tracking system are the SP13 series, including SP1310, SP1311, and SP1312. These products are IP68 connectors with threaded coupling and high-temperature resistance to help customers transmit power, data, and signals in the harshest environments.

If you are looking for a reliable supplier, contact us.