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2oldman

Ca

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Joined: 04/15/2001

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Posted: 08/31/19 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

I wonder why home solar panels aren't built to track the sun -
If you have the bucks they do. The panels at the South La Posa LTVAs at Quartzsite do.

Itinerant1

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Posted: 08/31/19 08:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have room on the roof just add another panel or two. Chasing the sun with tilting would be a pain in the butt unless maybe you're using a ground deployed system and looking to do something during the day.

With 1,280w flat mounted,
Nov/ Dec will average 6-750w peak or 2.5-3 kwh +/- daily.
Jan/ Feb average 7-800w peak or 3.1-3.7 kwh.
Mar-Oct average 8-1,150w or 3-7 kwh daily.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 08/31/19 08:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Itinerant1 wrote:

If you have room on the roof just add another panel or two. Chasing the sun with tilting would be a pain in the butt unless maybe you're using a ground deployed system and looking to do something during the day.

With 1,280w flat mounted,
Nov/ Dec will average 6-750w peak or 2.5-3 kwh +/- daily.
Jan/ Feb average 7-800w peak or 3.1-3.7 kwh.
Mar-Oct average 8-1,150w or 3-7 kwh daily.


With a ground tilted twirler, you only need to move it three times a day to get almost as much as a continuous twirl. After sunset to SE so it is ready in the morning before you get up, to S mid-morning, and to SW mid -afternoon.

You can just twirl it whenever you are going by the rig anyway, no special trips watching the clock needed. If you will be away all day, just aim it S before you leave in the morning.

People with a small portable set have been seen with the panel on a chair tilted, and they turn the chair toward the sun every so often. that gets the most from their solar.

It is all situational what is "worth it". It is easier if you are on a trip moving often, to have it all flat on the roof, and you don't have to park a certain way wrt the sun with the panels flat. (With a twirler same thing, but fixed tilt on roof you need to park so they aim South)

Stick house roof panels are tilted with the roof, and good luck if your roof ridge is E-W. Don't buy a house that is lined up N-S if you want solar on the roof!


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ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 08/31/19 09:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

Interesting discussion! I wonder why home solar panels aren't built to track the sun -- they are almost always stationary. My guess is that the cost and maintenance of tracking outweigh the gain in extra power.


if the panels are facing south, and your in most of the U.S. normal roof pitch of 4/12 to 6/12 gives a pretty good angle to start with, so there isn't much to be gained. And if the panels are layed out to tilt very much you need to take into account a shadow of a lower panel on an upper panel. So in some cases, panel spacing needs to increase which decreases the number of panels so there is little advantage, possibly actually a loss.

Large arrays where area is not a big limitation often do have trackers.


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