Floating Trackers –An Introduction
Solar energy is becoming more viable with technological improvements such as the floating panels and trackers that help align the solar arrays and make solar even more efficient and competitive. Floating trackers are becoming popular in the recent times. The term implies a solar power installation device mounted on a structure that floats on a source of water.
A Tracker-type floating solar photovoltaic system is preferred to maximize energy production by altering the inclination of its solar photovoltaic array according to the path of the moving sun. In this arrangement a sun-tracking technique and a floating structure along with mooring device on the water surface is employed .
Advantages of floating trackers
By using floating tracker technology, it is possible to increase the profits of solar farms by more than 20% compared to the fixed systems. The reason is that the installations can be done even in difficult zones like in wetlands, sand, rock and other unstable or unusable conditions that are not suitable when using conventional infrastructures. In conventional solar array systems, masts and poles secure the array to concrete foundations. But in these trackers, a ballast pan filled with dirt, gravel or sand is used. The arrangement is such that the pan floats on the surface of the ground and anchors the array even in high intensity winds.
Types Of Tracking domains
Floating photovoltaic and Floating CSP are the two domains where trackers are used. The former uses photovoltaic panels mounted on the platform. Floating CSP or Floating concentrated solar power uses mirrors that redirect the solar power to a tower.
There are different types of floating trackers
- System of tracking with confinement. The platform is put inside a reference frame and turns using a rolling wheel.
- System of tracking with a mooring in the platform center – a system of ropes pulled by whinch.
- System with a submerged support moored in a triangular way. The platform rotates respect to the submerged support.
- System without confinement and with central mooring- The tracking is generated by thrusters which are controlled by a software coupled to a solar sensor