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Keywords:

  • photovoltaic panel tilting;
  • sun-tracker;
  • PVGIS;
  • payback time;
  • GCR;
  • SPR;
  • EPH

ABSTRACT

The principal objective of this study is to analyze the performance of sun-trackers devices compared with fixed flat plate systems using data from a widely used irradiation prediction software (PVGIS). We analyze typical parameters as daily and monthly sum of global irradiation (Hd and Hm) or average daily and monthly estimated electricity production (Eh and Em) and also their associated costs and land requirements (usually described by the ground cover ratio, GCR). It was observed that the influence of these two last parameters is quite important to the calculation of the payback time of the whole installation. As a final result, it is concluded that although the dual-axis tracker allows the maximum energetic performance, a 38% higher than a fixed system on average, if we take into account the GCR value and calculate the surface performance ratio, the most efficient configuration is the horizontal-axis solar tracker. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.