Product Briefing Outline: GreenMountain Engineering has launched its new diagnostic instrument for measuring tracker performance, the Trac-Stat SL1. The SL1 is a high-resolution datalogging sensor that mounts on a solar tracker. It records the angle of error between the sun and the tracker for use in the development of tracking, concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) and solar thermal systems. Utility-scale solar company GreenVolts is testing GreenMountain’s Trac-Stat SL1 as part of its concentrating photovoltaic system.
Problem: There are many possible sources of error in a solar tracking system, from tracker installation to wind loading to thermal expansion to subtle algorithm errors. Identifying and mitigating these issues is key to maximizing system performance and driving the cost-competitiveness of technologies like CPV that rely on accurate tracking.
Solution: The SL1 is a high-resolution datalogging sensor that mounts on a solar tracker. It records the angle of error between the sun and the tracker for use in the development of tracking, concentrating photovoltaics and solar thermal systems. With a resolution of +/-0.02°, the SL1 meets the precision requirements of CPV tracking systems. The data collected can be used to characterize the error in a tracking system, log controller performance over time, and calibrate and align trackers. This information is essential for the development of the high-accuracy tracking systems required for CPV.
Applications: Provides consistent and accurate information about the pointing error of solar trackers.
Platform: The SL1 offers the flexibility of analog or USB output with both interactive and stand-alone operation modes. In interactive mode, the operator can read current sun position data over a USB connection for tracker calibration and monitoring. In stand-alone mode, the SL1 can log data to internal memory over extended periods of operation for later download and analysis.
Availability: July 2008 onwards.