Making Power from Sunlight All Day Long – 6.9kW AllEarth dual axis tracker in Longmont, CO
IPS recently completed installation of a dual axis solar tracker, the first of its kind on the Front Range of Colorado. An AllEarth Solar tracker is capable of producing up to 45% more power than a fixed solar array; it “wakes up” with the rising sun and follows the sun throughout the day until it sets … harvesting the maximum amount of photons to convert to electricity.
This installation is a 6.9kW system, composed of twenty high efficiency SunPower panels.
If this system were conventionally mounted, say on a roof at an ideal pitch or fixed ground mount, it would produce approximately 11,000 kW hours per year … but mounted on this tracker it will produce approximately 15,000 kW hours. That’s 4,000 more kWhrs, or 36% more – just by following the sun! In fact, when there is snow on the ground, it will do a bit better than this due to the additional sunlight reflected from the snowy ground – a benefit unique to dual axis trackers. (These trackers actually have a mode to shed snow.)
On the inverter screen (photo), you can see production information such as instantaneous power (kW), daily and cumulative energy (kWhrs). With trackers, we oversize the inverter to account for the extra sunlight due to reflection from snow covered ground.
- 20 SunPower 345X high efficiency solar panels
- 1 SMA 7700 TL inverter
Annual production: 15,837kWh