Why Tracking?

Quick Answer: For Houston, the daily watt-hour output is increased, on average, by 30%.

Caveat: But tracking has additional costs and maintrenance, compared to a fixed array. Why not just install 30% more panels and forget tracking? Trackers can maximize the energy harvested when the demand is high. Such as when the peaking generators are turned on.

Details: The National Renewable Energy Lab website has a calculator, in which one chooses the location of the array, and the method of tracking. Choose the location, ad the tracker type (Fixed,1 axis tracking and 2 axis tracking)

 

Location: _________________Fixed_____1 Axis_____2 Axis

Panama(Equator) :_________ Baseline___+17%_____+25%

Calgary(51 deg N. Latitude):_Baseline___+35%_____+55%

Conclusions: The real winner in terms of tracking is Calgary. In places of higher latitudes, such as Anchorage, the incident radiation is somewhat less.