Sunlight consists of two components, the direct beam which carries 90% of the solar energy and the diffuse sunlight which carries the remainder, as most of the energy is located in the direct beam, maximizing the collection required the sun to be visible as much time as possible.

Sun travels through 360 degrees east-west a day, and for a fixed location the visible portion is about 180 degrees during 12 hours period, due to local horizon effect; the effective motion is about 150 degrees.

The energy contributed by the direct beam drops off, by the cosine of the angle of incidence (angle between incoming light and panel).

Angle i

Losses = 1- cos (i)

Angle i

Losses = 1- cos (i)

0 °

0 %

15°

3.4%

1 °

0.015%

30°

13.4%

3 °

0.14%

45°

30%

8 °

1%

60°

>50%

23.4 °

8.3%

75°

>75%

For a fixed orientation panel, between the dawn and the sunset extremes will witness a motion of 75 degrees on either side, and thus according to table below, will lose around 75% of the energy throughout the day, a tracker rotation from east to west can help recapture these energy losses.

Solar tracking systems are used for orienting the solar panel toward the sun with a very high degree of accuracy.

Figure 1 single axis solar tracking

Figure 2 Solar panel alignment

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Thursday, 28 July 2016 18:02

The solar auction first planned for July has been officially cancelled and the auction planned for October has been delayed until December 16.

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Thursday, 28 July 2016 17:21

The approval of the heavily subsidized GBP 18bn nuclear project will be a bitter pill to swallow for the UK's renewable energy industry, on a day that official energy statistics reveal renewable energies in the country generated more electricity than coal for the first time in 2015.

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Thursday, 28 July 2016 15:03

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has published the list of the 20 final applications it has received under its AU$100 million ($75 million) utility scale solar grant program. The falling cost of solar has resulted in a reduction in the grant sums requested by the applicants, likely mean more projects will go ahead.

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A new report from GTM Research forecasts that the energy storage market in Germany will have an annual value exceeding USD1 billion by 2021, as a collection of factors feed the market’s growth within the country.