Boosting the energy yield of a PV power plant is the key factor to reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and further increase solar’s attractiveness to investors. A ‘must-have’ to enable cost reduction for utility-scale solar power generation in many locations are solar trackers, which follow the sun path to increase the intercepted irradiation and maximize solar generated energy production. Such systems can be designed in two different main configurations based on the tracker’s degrees of freedom, one-axis and two-axis systems. Single-axis trackers have one degree of freedom, while dual-axis trackers (DAT) have two degrees of freedom, as the names indicate. Today’s utility-scale PV plants implement almost exclusively singe-axis devices. Although there are different types of tracking systems, horizontal-single axis-trackers (HSAT) are the state of the art solution.
According to an Expert Market Research (EMR) report from March 2021, the global solar PV tracker market was estimated at 27 GW in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30% in the period of 2020 to 2026. Another report from Global Market Insights released in the same month estimates the revenue pool for Solar Trackers to increase from $3 billion in 2020 to $4.5 billion in 2027.
VDMA’s 11th International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV) sees the market share for tracking systems in utility-scale PV plants at 30% in 2019 and expects a 10%-point increase to the 40% mark in 2030 with HSAT to remain the dominant technology. The market share of DATs is expected to remain static at a minor level of 1%.
While the number of tracking systems and the technology’s market share has been quickly increasing over the last few years, and are supposed to continue its growth path, cost pressure and the dramatic changes in module design have been posing challenges to both tracker manufacturers as well as its customers. TaiyangNews market survey on solar trackers strives to provide an introduction into tracker technology in general, an overview on the different tracker solutions and insights into the different models and components of tracking systems offered by leading suppliers across the globe including technical specs for the latest products.
The text is an excerpt from the TaiyangNews Report Solar Trackers: First Comprehensive Technology Overview with Product Specs For A Key Component With Increasing Share In Utility-Scale Solar Power Plants – The TaiyangNews Market Survey Report can be downloaded for free here.
A comprehensive overview on Solar Trackers was provided by Dr Olga Papathanasiou, TaiyangNews, during the TaiyangNews Solar Tracker Conference; the recording can be viewed here.