People checking the solar tracking system in a photovoltaic system

Solar tracking Increase the yield from your photovoltaic system by systematically tracking the panels.

The yield from solar panels can be optimized with the help of a single- or double-axis tracking system. Exact tracking aligns the solar cells to the sun so that sunlight invariably falls perpendicular to the solar panels.

This guarantees optimum power generation. Continually monitoring the system status is of great importance in this regard. With software and hardware from Phoenix Contact, you can implement an efficient and reliable monitoring system for your solar tracking park.

Aerial photo of a tracking park

The solar panels are optimally aligned to the sun at all times

Application

Higher yields can be achieved with photovoltaic systems that track the sun. Their mode of operation is much more complex than fixed installations. This means that higher investments are required. It is not only necessary to track the sun, but also to ensure safety in the event of high wind loads and extreme weather conditions. With its automation solutions, Phoenix Contact ensures the reliable operation of PV tracking systems and secures yields in the long term.

Solution

Controllers for the exact alignment of photovoltaic trackers

Controllers for the exact alignment of photovoltaic trackers

Drive control

The AXC F 2152 PLCnext Control for the Axioline I/O system is fast, robust, and perfectly suited for controlling tracking systems. Step motor drivers and frequency converters can be connected directly without any additional modules. Analog or incremental input channels are available for position detection.

Motor starter installed in a control cabinet

Durable motor starters are ideal for tracking

Tracking

The hybrid motor starter offers four functions for tracking the photovoltaic panels: forward running, reverse running, motor protection, and emergency stop.

In comparison to mechanical contactors, the motor starter is significantly more durable, saves space, and can be wired quickly.

Excerpt from software for tracking PV panels

Complex function blocks for solar altitude calculation

Function block libraries

Phoenix Contact provides a comprehensive library with complete function blocks. This includes, among other features, complex blocks with DIN/NREL algorithms for solar altitude calculation and for monitoring the photovoltaic trackers. It ensures that the photovoltaic panels are always aligned perfectly with the sun at any time of the day or year and provide maximum yield.

Your advantages

  • Ideal, motor-driven alignment of your photovoltaic panels by using solar altitude calculations
  • Quick startup via web browser and function block libraries
  • Flexible remote access to your tracking park via Ethernet or a cellular network
Example layout of a solar tracking system

Tracking systems optimize the yield of photovoltaic panels with continuous monitoring

Weather data acquisition station

Acquiring data on wind speed and direction is necessary

Acquisition of weather data

For PV tracking systems, it is important to record the wind speed and direction. If wind loads are too high, the PV panels in the tracking system can be moved out of the wind in good time. This prevents damage. The weather station records the current wind data. It transmits the data to a higher-level control system that interacts with the solar park. The maximum wind loads depend on the type of tracking, the row spacing, the current pitch and the area of the PV tracker.