A dual axis solar tracker or mppt charge controller?

Clarkdale44Clarkdale44 Posts: 17Registered Users ✭✭
edited July 2017 in Solar Beginners Corner #1
OK, it has been few months now since i installed my solar system. It is a small one but i want to extract every ounce of juice i could get from my solar pv's. I am already aware that the mppt charge controller can do it's wonders. Currently using a pwm one and the only i time i get full power(well not full 80% efficiency) is between 1200 to 1300 hours... the reason for that is, well you and i both know...

So i heard of these dual axis solar trackers which tracks sun's position in the sky for maximum power output from dawn to dusk.

Mppt and these solar trackers are both expensive as he**ll man, it's gonna take quite a while before i get my investment back....
I know buying both of these can be very good for me...
But, I can only afford one thing..

So which would be more beneficial for me..?
I am using 3x 150W panals total of 450w (max power output 320w to 350w). Using with 12v 40A pwm charge controller (pv connected in parallel configuration).
I might throw in one more 150w panal by the end of this year, making it 600w... currently using 150Ah battery.


Regards!!

Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 2,203Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2017 #2
    An MPPT controller  probably won't give you that much more than a PWM and sometimes may actually be less depending on location, ie.a hot climate. Dual axis tracking would be benificial albeit at cost, complexity and maintenance. Option 3 virtual tracking add the additional panel now and call it a day B) Attached pdf has info on MPPT vs PWM.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,008Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    The OP needs to add a bit more info to get useful responses. The main reason for any tracking is usually cooling long hours or pumping water long hours. There are other reasons also like being offgrid and shortening the time you are on the battery. Dual axis is usually not a big deal offgrid as a single axis tracker gets the job done and you can't sell any watts so why move the elevation of an array. Snow country the elevation axis is a nice feature to easily move. 

    Is redrock still in business? Most of the arrays that used their electronics I doubt ever worked very long :(
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,838Registered Users ✭✭✭✭✭
    Another option if the objective is longer solar production would be to add a second controller and face a couple of panels east or west of south (depending on when you can use the power).
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Clarkdale44Clarkdale44 Posts: 17Registered Users ✭✭

    mcgivor said:
    An MPPT controller  probably won't give you that much more than a PWM and sometimes may actually be less depending on location, ie.a hot climate. Dual axis tracking would be benificial albeit at cost, complexity and maintenance. Option 3 virtual tracking add the additional panel now and call it a day B) Attached pdf has info on MPPT vs PWM.
    Thanks .. I think a solar tracker would be more better solution for me. Although MPPT does have it's advantages but for a smaller system like mine, it won't make that much of a difference...

    The OP needs to add a bit more info to get useful responses. The main reason for any tracking is usually cooling long hours or pumping water long hours. There are other reasons also like being offgrid and shortening the time you are on the battery. Dual axis is usually not a big deal offgrid as a single axis tracker gets the job done and you can't sell any watts so why move the elevation of an array. Snow country the elevation axis is a nice feature to easily move.
    It's an off grid system. My reason is simple, i usually get 23amps (12v pv) of power during 1200 to 1300 hours in a day because the sun is directly facing my fixed panals, i want to extend this time, either my MPPT controller or solar tracker, so i was just asking which one would be more suitable and beneficial for my system.

    Estragon said:
    Another option if the objective is longer solar production would be to add a second controller and face a couple of panels east or west of south (depending on when you can use the power).
    Not an option for me due to shortage of space. I thought of that before, i believe it's called virtual tracking...
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 4,008Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2017 #6
    Any controller will work better with an array pointed at the sun all day :) :) 
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Clarkdale44Clarkdale44 Posts: 17Registered Users ✭✭
    edited July 2017 #7
    OK thanks all of you..
  • ThomThom Posts: 184Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    150ah battery ? Seems small 
    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator
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