The demand for trackers has expanded significantly in recent years as more reliable and cost-effective solutions come to market. According to a recent study by Transparency Market Research, the global installed capacity for solar trackers is estimated to reach almost 9 GW by 2020.

Solar Tracking Technology

Contributed by | Exosun

What does Exosun do?

Exosun designs, develops and supplies innovative solar tracking technologies for PV plants. The company also offers a full range of engineering support services from the project design phase to tracker commissioning and O&M.

Exosun invests in research and development to ensure the company’s solutions are at the forefront of innovative solar technologies, driving down the cost of solar energy by boosting predictable, reliable and profitable system performances.

What benefits do trackers offer?

Solar tracking technologies help utilities and developers maximize the power output of their PV, CPV or CSP installations. They improve performance by rotating the panels’ position with the path of the sun, therefore optimizing a system’s exposure to sunlight. By boosting PV system output, trackers can significantly accelerate ROI. Exosun’s Exotrack® HZ, a horizontal, single-axis tracker, is proven to boost plant production up to 25 percent when compared to fixed-tilt systems.

How are your trackers different from other solutions in the market?

Our solutions are built upon a modular design that simplifies the installation process and reduces the amount of manpower required for system construction. Exosun’s trackers offer the lowest motor consumption on the market and employ a unique grease-free design that enhances system reliability and minimizes long-term O&M costs. At the heart of Exosun’s technology is the Exobox control system, which monitors up to 4 MW of trackers for more efficient plant management.

How big is the solar tracker market worldwide? 

The demand for trackers has expanded significantly in recent years as more reliable and cost-effective solutions come to market. According to a recent study by Transparency Market Research, the global installed capacity for solar trackers is estimated to reach almost 9 GW by 2020.

Exosun recently expanded into the North American market. What opportunities do you see in this region?

Reports from the utility-scale market in the U.S. indicate that the sector more than doubled from 2012 to 2013, and projections show this trend will continue through at least 2016. Given that this is the largest segment of the total solar market in the United States, we anticipate a host of developers will look more closely at tracking technologies in the coming years.

Are there technology breakthroughs expected for solar trackers in the near future or are we in a period of refinement of existing technology?

In comparison to the trackers of years past, new models have improved maintenance requirements and mitigated the risk associated with implementation. At Exosun, we are keenly focused on research and development. While tracking technology is certainly ready for deployment today, we can expect further advancements that will drive the technology to even greater levels of efficiency.

How much (percentage) do trackers add to the cost of a typical installation and what is the payback?

The cost of installing trackers depends on the system—location, terrain and shading conditions all play a major role in determining the appropriate tracker technology, system design and plant implementation. When properly utilized, PV plant developers and investors will achieve immediate benefits from solar tracking technologies. Further, given the expanding use of time-of-use rates, in which utilities charge more for power during periods of peak use, plant owners can expect an additional bump in revenues and a faster project payback time.

What is ahead for Exosun in 2014?

Over the last 12 months, Exosun has inked new partnerships with some of the largest energy companies in Europe, such as GDF Suez, equaling 66 MWp in sales. We also recently signed our first deal in the U.S.—a 30 MW project in California. We look forward to building on this success throughout the year and aim to add hundreds of megawatts to our global portfolio.


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