Thanks to a new algorithm based on astronomical data, the solar panels track the sun in line with not only the time of day but also the time of year and the precise geographical location of the photovoltaic installation. As a result, their energy yield is more than 35 percent higher than fixed systems.
A decisive factor in the efficiency of a photovoltaic system is the angle of incidence at which sunlight strikes the surface of the module. In the case of fixed panels, sunlight hits the solar cells at an oblique angle for most of the day. A maximum yield in terms of energy and therefore electricity is only achieved when sunlight strikes the cells perpendicular to their surface. So the obvious solution is to fit the solar modules to a movable tracking system that precisely follows the course of the sun. The sun’s position depends on not only the time of day but also the time of year and the location of the photovoltaic installation. The Simatic S7-1200 control system from Siemens therefore calculates the perfect alignment for the solar modules on the basis of their precise location, anywhere in the world, and the exact time and date.
This calculation is based on the “Simatic Library for Solar Position Algorithm,” which is stored in every control unit. Siemens obtained a license for the very precise algorithm from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the U.S. On this basis, the control system is able to determine the position of the sun to an accuracy of 0.0003° and align the photovoltaic module accordingly. Three-phase AC motors power a dual-axis tracking system: This swivels the module in a semicircle along the azimuthal axis, thus tracking the sun’s daily course from east to west, and tilts the module along the zenithal axis, tracking the height of the sun according to the time of day and year. In the process, the control system also prevents neighboring modules from overshadowing one another during the morning and evening hours, when shadows are especially long. The software bases its astronomical calculations on parameters such as longitude, latitude, and the exact time.
In addition, the control system can also take weather conditions into account. When faced with high winds, for example, it moves the modules to a position of least resistance, where they can withstand winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour. In a similar manner, the tracking system can be programmed to react to snow, thunderstorms, fog, and darkness.
Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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