There are a few different types of solar panel motors and designs. To power the tracking of a farm of solar panels there are two main options: a central drive system featuring one tracking motor that powers multiple panels simultaneously.

How Efficient Are Tracking Solar Panels?
How Efficient Are Tracking Solar Panels?

Article from | Parvalux

As renewable energy sources become more widely used, understanding how to best implement them is very important. Solar panels and wind turbines are rapidly growing technologies that are being used both domestically and in large scale farms. However, maximising the efficiency of these energy sources can be difficult. Solar panels for example can only reach about 20% efficiency. This means that if 100 watts of the sun’s energy falls onto the solar panel, only 20 watts of electricity would be produced. However solar tracking motors help create a more efficient renewable energy source by enabling solar panels to follow the path of the sun and absorbing more energy throughout the day. These energy-efficient motors are great at making these renewable energy sources more cost-effective. Read on to discover some of the benefits of tracking motors and what the best motors for wind turbines are.


Benefits of electric motor trackers in renewable energy sources

The main benefit of using electric tracking motors in renewable energy sources is that they are able to help harvest more raw energy. A fixed solar panel may be in view of the sun all day, but the sun will be off-angle for most of the day. With a solar panel motor, the panel can face the sun throughout the day to ensure a higher intensity of radiated energy is captured. The same is true when using a tracking motor in a wind turbine. The turbine is at its highest efficiency when the propellers are facing the direction of the wind. Using a wind turbine motor to rotate wind turbine propellers can therefore help produce a higher output of energy.


Types of tracking solar panel

There are a few different types of solar panel motors and designs. To power the tracking of a farm of solar panels there are two main options: a central drive system featuring one tracking motor that powers multiple panels simultaneously. This system is very energy efficient and easy to maintain. The other design is a distributed drive system, in which every row of panels has its own energy-efficient motor. This type of design is much better suited for irregular terrain but comes with a higher maintenance requirement.

The tracking motor is only part of the design of a solar panel tracker. The axis of the solar panel tracker will also affect energy efficiency. A solar tracker can either be a single-axis solar tracker or a dual-axis tracker. A single-axis tracker can follow the sun’s movement on either a horizontal or vertical axis. A solar panel tracker using a tracking motor and a single axis design can see energy production increase by about 30%. A dual-axis solar tracker will follow the sun using both axes, as it moves from east to west and north to south. A dual-axis tracker can increase energy production by up to 40%.


Why tracking solar panels are more energy efficient

Using a solar panel motor is a more efficient way to produce energy simply because of the angle at which it enables the solar panel to face the sun. When using a fixed solar panel, if the sun is off angle the area covered by the energy is larger and therefore has less intensity. When the panel is using a tracking motor to face the sun directly, the energy is falling on a smaller area and therefore has a higher intensity. This increase in energy must be weighed up against higher operation and installation costs, as well as the additional energy that an electric motor uses to power a tracking solar panel. However, by using an energy efficient motor, the increased efficiency of a tracking solar panel would offset the marginal energy costs needed to track the suns movement.

For more information about how Parvalux can help renewable energy equipment manufacturers, get in touch today. Call +1 508-677-0520 or email


The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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