Withthe unavoidable shortage of fossil fuel sources in the future, renewable typesof energy have become a topic of interest for researchers, technicians,investors and decision makers all around the world. New types of energy thatare getting attention include hydroelectricity, bioenergy, solar, wind andgeothermal energy, tidal power and wave power. Because of their renewability,they are considered as favorable replacements for fossil fuel sources.
Amongthose types of energy, solar photovoltaic (PV) energy is one of the mostavailable resources. This technology has been adopted more widely forresidential use nowadays, thanks to research and development activities toimprove solar cells’ performance and lower the cost. According to InternationalEnergy Agency (IEA),worldwide PV capacity has grown at 49% per year on average since early 2000s1, 9. Solar PV energy is highly expected to become a major source of power inthe future. However,despite the advantages, solar PV energy is still far from replacing traditionalsources on the market. It is still a challenge to maximize power output of PVsystems in areas that don’t receive a large amount of solar radiation.
We stillneed more advanced technologies from manufacturers to improve the capability ofPV materials, but improvement of system design and module construction is afeasible approach to make solar PV power more efficient, thus being a reliablechoice for customers. Aiming for that purpose, this project had been carriedout to support the development of such promising technology. One of the mainmethods of increasing efficiency is to maximize the duration of exposure to theSun. Tracking systems help achieve this by keeping PV solar panels aligned atthe appropriate angle with the sun rays at any time. The goal of this projectis to build a prototype of light tracking system at smaller scale, but thedesign can be applied for any solar energy system in practice.
It is also expectedfrom this project a quantitative measurement of how well tracking systemperforms compared to system with fixed mounting method.