The largest portion of the cost for a solar tracker is simply the cost of materials and in particular steel. One approach to addressing the high cost of the steel support structure for dual axis solar trackers is to find an alternate material that meets the performance requirements at lower cost. An analysis of many alternates, such as composite or bamboo structural materials, indicate that their cost is actually higher than steel. It would take many years of development and a large market for their cost to reduce below the cost of steel.
Our proposal centres on a design that reduces the amount of steel by approximately a third without sacrificing the current functionality of a dual axis solar tracker.
How Does It Work?
We propose a dual axis solar tracker design using tensile cable in place of structural steel as much as possible, while also designing to eliminate expense in manufacturing and installation wherever possible. Tensile cable has been used as structure for stationary solar panel installations, and our design proposal is to be the first to use cable for a dual axis solar panel platform.
Our initial calculations and proof-of-concept development indicate we can achieve a better than 30% reduction in dual axis solar tracker cost with the proposed approach.
Proof of Concept