Optimum Tilt Angles for Manual Tracking of Photovoltaic Modules

  • Arindam Dutta Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata, India
  • Jhumoor Biswas Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata, India.
  • Soma Roychowdhury Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata, India
  • Subhasis Neogi the School of Energy Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.
Keywords: Solar photovoltaic panel, manual single axis tracking, empirical set of equations, optimum tilt angle, electrical energy


This article reports the investigation for the average optimal tilt angle of solar panels on a monthly basis (single axis tracking) for a wide range of latitudes in the northern hemisphere to collect maximum total solar irradiation. Based on experimentally validated modeling, a new set of empirical relations has been proposed to compute the optimum tilt angle on a monthly basis for the entire year. The accuracy of equations set is evaluated by standard statistical measures. The proposed set of empirical equations is compared with an existing set of empirical equations on various cities within the latitude and has yielded significantly better results. Solar Advisory Model (SAM) has been used to compare—with respect to a fixed Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) panel—the electricity predicted by (1) a new set of manual solar tracking equations, (2) an established set of solar tracking equations, and (3) data from an automated single axis tracking system by a Programmable Logic Controller or PLC. It is found that, the manual tracking system based on the proposed set of equations generates an annual average increase in electrical energy of (5-8)%, the old set of equation yields annual increase of (2-4)% and the PLC automated single axis tracking system generates a growth of (8-15)% over fixed SPV modules. Based on the proposed empirical set of equation, a manual tracking system has also been designed and commissioned to reaffirm the justification of the proposed equation set.


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