Development and performance analysis of a two-axis solar tracker for concentrated photovoltaics

Seung Jin Oh, Muhammad Burhan, Kim Choon NG, Yeongmin Kim, Wongee Chun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study presents a two-axis solar tracking system equipped with a small concentrator module for electricity generation through a multijunction solar cell. The system can accurately track the sun without the need of calibration for an extended period and operate as a stand-alone system. High-precision solar tracking was achieved by a combination of open-loop and closed-loop controls. A camera tracking sensor was introduced as a feedback device in closed-loop control. Two different types of solar concentrator modules were designed and fabricated. Their concentration ratios were analyzed against solar tracking errors by means of ray tracing software. One is made up of a paraboloidal primary concentrator and a paraboloidal secondary reflector, whereas the other has a paraboloidal primary concentrator and a hyperboloidal secondary reflector. Both modules showed an almost identical concentration ratio of 610 provided that the solar tracker is pointing perfectly at the sun. However, their performance differs considerably when tracking error is present. The maximum power output was obtained near solar noon with multijunction cells, whose average solar conversion efficiency was 21%, much higher than that of conventional photovoltaic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-976
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Research
Volume39
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 10 2015

Keywords

  • Concentrated photovoltaics
  • Concentration ratio
  • Hyperboloidal mirror
  • Microcontroller
  • Paraboloidal mirror
  • Solar tracker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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