Dual Axis-Solar Trackers (DATs)

We tell everyone;
All (Cave-man) fixed solar Racking, at best will generate 4.5hours of Peak energy per day!

Where, if you have a clear area, installing a Dual Axis-solar Tracker (DAT), will Generate Peak energy for 11 hours per day in good weather, and DATs use 1/3 of the Solar Panels, and as they are installed closer to the ground, cleaning is a lot easier.

However, the final installed Cost will be similar to a Cave-man racking installation.
What you save on Purchasing a DAT, will go towards a more expensive installation.
The BIG+ is the additional Energy Generated !

  • e.g. An 8 panel DAT (DAT-8) module fitted with 440W half-cut, Longi Mono panels will generate over 38kWh/p Energy per Day.
    That is equivalent to installing 23x 370W solar panes you are intending to install.

So, in our opinion, why would one use Cave-man Racking in the first place.
Noting that DATs have been around for over 30 years, and nowadays the DAT tracking is up to 99% accurate.


You can actually totally UN-bolt & Re-locate a DAT if you chose to.
A Great Project for a competent person.

Hi @TheRaptor

I love your passion about DAT, and get the benefits, but it’s simply not feasible for the vast majority of people going solar. They don’t have the yard space to do it.

The images that you’ve used are a good example, most people don’t live like that. Have you got examples of this setup in a suburban yard?

Cheers
Marty

Hi Marty,

We have a R&D project aimed at Urban and transient tenants that move around, as many people do.
It comprises if either a Single or Two x 500W 48V solar panels.

A handy person can manufacture there own DAT, the most expensive item is the Dual Axis Slew Bearing =US$800+.

This is an images of our first DAT-1 prototype design to be a free standing with a Foundation base, that SHOULD be Weighted or Secured to the ground for safety reasons.

We manufactured this module with seating (shown without cover & floor planks) or it could be a Table to sit around, either way, the base/foundation needs to be secured to stop being blown over in High Winds.

There several ways to secure any DAT Module to the ground;

  1. Fit 4~6 Ground Screws, that can be removed just like a threaded screw.
  2. Flat, Thick Metal Plate, that could be in pieces (modular).
  3. A Block of Concrete, that sits above the Ground, that could also be Modular.
  4. Old school, & Not-so-Green, a Buried Cement & Steel Foundation block.

We built this one with a Heavy Timber Seating, this design could hold an Inverter and several Batteries to weigh down the module, and making it safer in Hi-wind. The front floor panels (not shown), could have two Mature Pot-planter to weight down the Tracker & camouflage the unit.

The hinge is designed to allow for the DAT to be assembled at waist height, then Raised into operation position and Lowered if maintenance is required.

Below image shows the DAT-1 Racking during Test phase.
This DAT-1 module pivot point is 3mt high and sheltered between the neighbours buildings.
As we are on the Top of a Ridge, currently this unit starts Generating Energy from 6am until well after 7:30PM, and if there are Clouds at Sunset, it will generate from the reflecting light off the underside of the Clouds.

This all equates *approx. *10 (hours day) x 500W =5kWh/p per Day, a two Panel DAT-2 will harvest 10kWh/p per day.

According the the Australian Bureau of statistics, the average house consumes approx. 10kWh of energy per Day!

So, my parting thought is, Why are the Masses investing in Caveman Fixed Racking, and consuming far more precious resources. We feel it’s Smarter to Reduce the Panel purchase, and use a Steel DAT, that will Generate far more energy for the next 30+ years.

A DAT-8 module, fitted with 8x 440W solar panels (3.52kW Array) will generate over 38.72kWh/p Energy per day. :earth_asia:

Where Fixed Racking only provides 5hours of peak/useful Generation, that equates needing a 7.74kWh Array ! :face_with_monocle: :weary:

NB: No solar generation enters the control housing, that is just for holding the control module & Super Capacitor battery that Only controls the full automated Tracking, Rotation & Hi-wind sensors, this DAT stows the Panel horizontal during Hi-wind or at Night stow position, awaiting for :sunny:Sunrise again!

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We suspect it would be a game changer for most people, as it looks like only 1/3 of the panels are needed to get the same as rooftop solar, well after you spend the time installing.

This site is supposed to be on the leading edge of energy market, but appears more of a marketing site.

The Solar savings calculator on this site does not allow for solar tracking! :high_brightness:
https://solar.cleanenergyreviews.info/customer/

Solar panels tracking the Sun appears the best at harvesting energy.
So don’t know why this site is not promoting a modern system, that is better suited to the times we live in.

The CEC site builders should be doing this coding !

Wow, I just noted there are now 600W panels, so two panels on your tracker should make 12kwh of energy per Day with 10 hours of tracking ?

We’ve only just launched the calculator, one step at a time. That’s a lot of extra calculations you’re talking about, for a very niche market.

I guess we should take that as a compliment. We’ve been doing this since 2014, and it’s a lot of work keeping on top of the many new developments in solar and energy storage. Fortunately we enjoy it!

As for being a marketing site, if you mean that we get paid for the reviews we write, we definitely do not, and never will.

It’s not due to a hidden agenda, we’re just not convinced it’s the best option for most people going solar.

That’s the beauty of a forum though, you have a platform to convince us and the other readers.

G’day Marty,

I actually like your Calculator, as it shows the Graphs that people can relate to.
In my opinion, there are a few annoying pre-set assumptions, like battery costs etc.

And if you Reside in Tasmania, there is No way a Fixed Tilted Array can Harvest Peak energy for more than 3 hours, due to the arch of the Sun through the Sky, But DAT will harvest energy for over 12 hours per Day …in good weather.

However, surely the Java/coding can allow for a Longer generation duration, and obviously a reference to the nearest Capital City Latitude could use, as from Darwin to Hobart the difference in Generation for a DAT unit varies from 10~14 hours, instead of the common 5 hours of Peak energy harvesting, before the Suns obscure angle, rapidly reduces the energy harvested.

For those that are Not aware, DAT have been around for over 50 years, the first were Manually mover to improve Generation, before semi-automatic design became available, these used an Oil reserve, that when the Sun Heated the Oil, it passively Tracked the Sun, they were not as accurate as the current modern Light activated & GPS sensors now available.