I have been looking at the production of three different PV systems – tracker, roof, and pole mounts. A roof mount is the least expensive option because the infrastructure for the mount is already in place. Pole-mounts are usually the next least-expensive option, since the mounting equipment is fairly simple to manufacture and install. The trackers are the most expensive, due to the complexity of the tracking system. However, these units produce significantly more power then either of the other two types of systems.
The graph shows the production of these types of systems since June 2014, normalized to account for differences in array size. As you can see, the trackers have produced around 44% more than a roof system, and 26% more than a pole mount. Winter production of the tracker is where these units out-perform the others.
If you would like more information about trackers, or any other type of renewable energy system, please contact us. We look forward to helping you!
Have you ever wondered about the benefit of a dual-axis tracker over a fixed array? Based on a comparison of two PV systems, the tracker is worth the additional cost, if you have the right conditions for installation of a tracker. Part of the increase in production shown in the graph is related to the way a tracker handles snow – it cleans itself off after a storm, whereas a fixed array (roof mount in this case) does not. Note that the tracker came online on June 5 late in the day.
As you can see in the graph, the tracker out-performed the fixed array, especially in the winter when there was significant snow cover on the roof (January and February). While December 2014 was a bad month for PV by all measures, the tracker was able to produce more than double the amount of power than the fixed array. The average production of the tracker over a 10-month period is around 37% more than the fixed array.
If you are interested in more information about trackers, or PV in general, please contact us. We would love to help you.