Technical Brief

Comparison of solar tracking system and fixed photovoltaic modules in Lodz

[+] Author and Article Information
Paulina Sawicka-Chudy

Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Rzeszow, 1 Pigonia Street, Rzeszow 35-317, Poland

Maciej Sibinski

Department of Semiconductor and Optoelectronics, Lodz University of Technology, 211/215 Wólczańska Street, Lodz 90-924, Poland

Marian Cholewa

Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Rzeszow, 1 Pigonia Street, Rzeszow 35-317, Poland

Ryszard Pawelek

Institute of Electrical Power Engineering, Lodz University of Technology, 18/22 Stefanowskiego Street, Lodz 90-924, Poland

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039097 History: Received January 31, 2017; Revised January 16, 2018


The world energy consumption has exhibited high growth over the last several decades. Alternative energy sources like photovoltaic systems generate electricity, reduce pollution air, and have little environmental impact. The commonly used fixed-tilt solar panels, however, have low efficiency and high production cost. Thus, it takes a long time to obtain a return on the investment. Solar trackers increase the efficiency of photovoltaic systems and are therefore more attractive from a financial point of view. In order to design tracking systems that will be efficient, it is necessary to analyze the results during various periods during the year and over their lifespan. Thus, we performed a comparative study between fixed-tilt panels and the tracking system installed in Lodz, Poland. Fixed-tilt panels are at normal to the Earth's surface (90 degrees from horizontal plane) and are attached to a building façade, azimuth 180o (S direction) with 15 cm ventilation gap so slight efficiency drop may be presumed. We performed short and long-term analyses of the solar tracking and fixed-tilt systems, which allowed us to conclude that the panels tracking the sun had an additional gain of energy during the year as compared to the fixed-tilt panels. During some months, however, the solar tracking system did not produce as much energy as the fixed-tilt, vertically positioned panels. These results might be useful in designing and constructing solar tracking photovoltaic systems.

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