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Single Axis Solar Trackers

You might find that single-axis solar tracker system are very useful for your next solar project. Single-axis trackers can be a great addition to your next solar project because they can help you maximize energy production, save money, and protect the environment.

Solar panel tracking systems can be categorized based on how they move. These systems have a photovoltaic (PV) surface that can be rotated or tilted along axes to achieve the ideal angle for capturing maximum sunlight. When the PV surface adjusts by rotating around one axis, it’s referred to as single-axis tracking. Conversely, when it moves around two axes simultaneously, it’s known as dual-axis tracking.

What is a Single Axis Solar Tracker?

single axis solar trackers

Single-axis trackers, also known as 1-axis tracker systems they are a type of technology that moves a solar panel along an axis to follow the sun as it moves across the sky over the years. The panel is set up so that the angle of incidence (the angle at which the sun hits a solar panel) is as small as possible. In order to get the most energy out of them, the tracks tilt on a single-axis so that they can follow the sun from east to west as it moves throughout the day.

single-axis solar tracker systems, are made up of a module mount structure that uses a single pivot point to move the solar modules along a path based on the sun’s path. 

Types of Single-axis Solar Trackers


There are three types of single-axis solar trackers. When viewed from the ground, the axis of rotation is horizontal, and in HSAT systems, the solar panel is lined up parallel to the axis of rotation. The axis of spin in VSAT systems is straight up and down from the ground. Because VSAT systems follow the sun around a vertical axis, they need more room than HSAT systems to keep the yield from being affected by shading. There are also tilted HSAT (HTSAT) systems on the market. These have mounted solar panels so that they tilt at the best angle along the horizontal line.

Horizontal Single-axis Trackers (HSAT)

Horizontal type of trackers are designed with a horizontal axis of rotation parallel to the ground. These trackers can share posts at both ends of the rotation axis, which helps reduce installation costs. HSATs are particularly suitable for regions with low latitudes. 

Field layouts using horizontal single axis trackers offer flexibility, requiring only parallel alignment of rotation axes to position the trackers appropriately. The energy production-to-cost ratio can be maximized by determining the optimal spacing, depending on local terrain, shading conditions, and the time-of-day value of the energy produced. Backtracking is one method used to calculate the panel disposition.

In horizontal trackers, the module’s face is typically aligned parallel to the axis of rotation. As the module tracks the Sun, it sweeps a rotationally symmetric cylinder around the rotation axis. The system comprises a long horizontal tube supported on bearings mounted on towers or frames. The tube’s axis runs on a north-south line, and solar panels are mounted on the tube, allowing it to rotate and track the Sun’s apparent motion throughout the day.

Horizontal Single-axis Trackers with Tilted Modules (HTSAT) follow the same principle as HSAT, but the modules are installed at a certain tilt rather than being mounted flat at 0 degrees. This configuration is often preferred in high latitude locations. HTSAT offers the advantages of vertical single axis trackers (VSAT) while occupying less land space. Consequently, it reduces the overall cost of solar projects.

Vertical Single-axis Trackers (VSAT)

Vertical trackers have a vertical axis of rotation with respect to the ground. These trackers rotate from East to West over the day, making them more effective at high latitudes than horizontal axis trackers. Field layouts for VSATs must consider shading to avoid unnecessary energy losses and optimize land use. 

However, optimizing for dense packing is limited due to the shading patterns throughout the year. Typically, the face of the module in vertical single-axis trackers is oriented at an angle with respect to the axis of rotation. As the module tracks the Sun, it sweeps a rotationally symmetric cone around the rotation axis.

Tilted Single-axis trackers (TSAT)

Tilted trackers include all trackers with axes of rotation between horizontal and vertical orientations. The tilt angles of these trackers are often limited to reduce wind profile and decrease elevated end height. With backtracking, they can be densely packed without shading perpendicular to their axis of rotation. 

However, the tilt angle and latitude limit the packing parallel to their axes of rotation. Similar to horizontal trackers, tilted single-axis trackers have the module’s face aligned parallel to the axis of rotation. As the module tracks the Sun, it sweeps a rotationally symmetric cylinder around the rotation axis.

Benefits of Single-axis Solar Trackers

  • East-West Sun Tracking: Single-axis trackers follow the Sun’s path from east to west.
  • Cost-Effective: They are affordable, simple to install, and operate at a low cost.
  • Reliability: Single-axis trackers are more reliable compared to dual-axis trackers.
  • Longer Lifespan: They have a longer lifespan than dual-axis trackers.
  • Budget-Friendly Option: Ideal for companies seeking a cost-effective solution.
  • Versatile: Suitable for regions with limited sunlight.
  • Increased Energy Production: Single-axis trackers are 32.17% more effective than fixed-tilt solar panels.

Consideration Before Installation

There are a few important things you should think about about where your solar project is located if you want to add a single-axis tracker to it. Single-axis solar trackers work best in ground-mounted (rather than roof-mounted) solar projects that are set up on flat land. 

You should also think about the weather where you live. Single-axis tracks work best in warm, dry places; snow and rain can damage the technology.

Maximize Energy Production

Solar Earth INC team of experts can help you every step of the way if you want to use single-axis solar trackers in your next green energy project California. We will make sure that your next renewable energy project fits the needs of your facility perfectly. 

Contact Our Friendly, Knowledgeable Staff

Solar Earth Inc., with expertise and certifications, empowers your home for enhanced energy generation. Contact us today to transform your home into a sustainable, long-term renewable energy source.