September 21, 2023
A comparative study of PV racking systems
The study centered on a comparative analysis of mounting systems in photovoltaic installations and their direct impact on energy production. Our team participate on a meticulous investigation, which encompassed optimizing the tilt angle in fixed structures and comparing it with dual axis tracking systems. The pinnacle of this collaboration was the evaluation of performance and energy costs across more than 39 countries worldwide.
Even though this collaboration has concluded, we firmly believe that the findings and knowledge acquired deserve to be shared and highlighted to enrich the discourse surrounding solar energy and its global sustainability impact. We cordially invite you to explore the outcomes of this study, where you can delve into the comprehensive analyses that emerged from this partnership with the Oviedo’s University.
We present a comparative study of the different racking systems used in photovoltaic power systems, with a new methodology for determining the total energy produced by each one under usual weather conditions (not clear-skies). In systems without solar tracker, the tilt angle is a major factor contributing to the energy production, and its optimization is essential. We study the effect of tilt update frequency (daily, monthly, or constant) on the total irradiation received by a plane surface, and present a method for computing the optimal tilt angle, which we validate using previous studies. This method is easily implemented, accurate, and valid for any location. We compare all the systems with the most energy productive one, the dual-axis tracker, in two ways: with respect to energy production, and to levelized cost of energy, both in 39 cities around the World. The results provide a new insight on the relative and objective value of trackerless systems, and some remarkable properties arise, which may be relevant in budgetary consideration.