International Journal of Applied Science and Technology

ISSN 2221-0997 (Print), 2221-1004 (Online) 10.30845/ijast

An Experimental Validation of the Concept Critical Solar Radiation for Solar Tracking Systems
Laura Guillon, Guillermo Quesada, Daniel R. Rousse

This work involves an experimental validation of a concept to be used in optimal tracking strategy for a dual-axis tracking PV panel during cloudy conditions in Canada or any high latitude locations. The work presents an experimental study of incident solar radiation and electrical production of two PV panels in various configurations. The measurements were carried out during several seasons for the city of Montréal, Canada. One of the panels is continuously directed toward the zenith (horizontal position) while the second is equipped with a dual-axis solar tracker allowing it, according to the stages of the experimentation, to fix its surface at a specific angle or to track the sun. Results confirmed that on sunny days, the solar tracking surface is more irradiated than the other. Conversely, on cloudy days a horizontal PV panel receives more diffuse solar radiation and therefore produces more electricity (up to 25%) than one tracking the sun. The experimental results presented here have validated the method that uses the concept of “hourly critical solar radiation” to determine whether or not the panel should follow the sun. The theory and measurements were found to be in agreement 96% of the time.

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