Solar trackers, which are best?

There are many types of solar trackers on the market today. Naturally you will be studying up on them before you decide on a type, but still, the question on what method of solar tracking to use comes up.

English: Rooftop view of backyard solar tracke...

English: Rooftop view of backyard solar trackers with ASE DG-285 and DG-300 panels. This is a nominal 50 volt system driving a Trace on-grid inverter (no batteries are used). These are Zomeworks passive trackers. Axis tilt is adjusted at the Spring and Fall equinox. Of the four positions available only two are used. Image taken and uploaded by User:Leonard G.. This image is also posted on a personal web site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best solar tracker

Often people ask what is the best solar tracker. And often the question goes unanswered. The fact is that the various solar trackers available should not only match your preference, but your environment, latitude, available space and most importantly your collectors!

There are various types of solar collectors available and the fact of the matter is that some solar trackers work better on some, while completely do not work on others. For example, many collectors concentrate solar power but not all. Some are able to shift, but not all.

These characteristics determine what solar tracker you can use, not your general preference.

Is it that important?

Yes. Choosing the optimal solar tracker will ensure you get the most out of your collectors. Certain systems completely fail to generate power unless they are faced towards the sun, while some lose about half of their potential from just a 10% angle mismatch. As such, many solar collectors are completely ineffective if not combined with a solar tracker.

The exception

There are some collectors which do not require optimal facing, such as those collecting heat. In general though, you should consider a solar tracker as a mandatory part of the solar power setup. They may add to the cost of the collector, but they add more than enough to the effectiveness to be well worth their additional expenditure.