The goal of a recent study was to design, and determine the effectiveness of, a fixed-tilt solar panel module that contains strands of photovoltaic cells, which are rotated by a very small motor to track the sun. The motivation was that such a configuration enjoys the advantage of increased energy collection over static solar panels due to sun tracking ability, while it mitigates some key difficulties associated with stabilizing and rotating bulky panels as current active and passive tracking systems need to do. Most critically, such a module allows the benefits of sun tracking to be reaped by sloped roof panel installations, which at present almost always consist of fixed-tilt solar panels rather than rotating tracking panels. The study’s result is an active tracking system design in a fixed-tilt module configuration that generated over 10% more daily energy typically, during the test period, compared to a static panel, thus substantially offsetting its added complexity and higher initial cost.

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