The largest portion of the cost for a solar tracker is typically structural materials, and in particular steel. One approach to addressing the high cost of a steel support structure for dual axis solar trackers is to create an alternative design that meets the performance requirements by using less steel. Another approach is to consider alternative rigid structural materials such as bamboo, most viable in countries with lower labour costs and an abundance of locally grown bamboo.
We have created a design that when based on a steel structure, reduces the overall cost of the tracker by at least 30% over the best technology on the market today without sacrificing the functionality of a dual axis solar tracker. Our design happens to also be ideal for utilizing alternative rigid structural materials such as bamboo, for countries where bamboo is inexpensive and abundant, and labour costs are lower.
How Does It Work?
Our dual axis solar tracker design uses tensile cable in place of rigid structural elements 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 appears the first to use cable for both the actuation and panel supporting platform of 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