Long-term field test of solar PV power generation using one-axis 3-position sun tracker

B.J. Huang, W.L. Ding, Y.C. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The 1 axis-3 position (1A-3P) sun tracking PV was built and tested to measure the daily and long-term power generation of the solar PV system. A comparative test using a fixed PV and a 1A-3P tracking PV was carried out with two identical stand-alone solar-powered LED lighting systems. The field test in the particular days shows that the 1A-3P tracking PV can generate 35.8% more electricity than the fixed PV in a partly-cloudy weather with daily-total solar irradiation HT=11.7MJ/m2day, or 35.6% in clear weather with HT=18.5MJ/m2day. This indicates that the present 1A-3P tracking PV can perform very close to a dual-axis continuous tracking PV (Kacira et al., 2004). The long-term outdoor test results have shown that the increase of daily power generation of 1A-3P tracking PV increases with increasing daily-total solar irradiation. The increase of monthly-total power generation for 1A-3P sun tracking PV is between 18.5-28.0%. The total power generation increase in the test period from March 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011, is 23.6% in Taipei (an area of low solar energy resource). The long-term performance of the present 1X-3P tracking PV is shown very close to the 1-axis continuous tracking PV in Taiwan (Chang, 2009). If the 1A-3P tracking PV is used in the area of high solar energy resource with yearly-average HT>17MJ/m2day, the increase of total long-term power generation with respect to fixed PV will be higher than 37.5%. This is very close to that of dual-axis continuous tracking PV. The 1A-3P tracker can be easily mounted on the wall of a building. The cost of the whole tracker is about the same as the regular mounting cost of a conventional rooftop PV system. This means that there is no extra cost for 1A-3P PV mounted on buildings. The 1A-3P PV is quite suitable for building-integrated applications. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1935-1944
Number of pages10
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-014-12
Acknowledgements: This publication is based on work supported by Award No. KUK-C1-014-12, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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