Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Solar Panels Track the Sun For More Efficiency

31.01.2011
Photovoltaic modules equipped with a moveable mounting and a new control system from Siemens are able to precisely follow the course of the sun.

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
Further information:
http://www.siemens.com/innovationnews

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer IFAM

nachricht IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world
05.12.2016 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>