GreenMountain Engineering has released a new diagnostic instrument, the Trac-Stat SL1, for measuring solar tracker performance. The SL1 is a high-resolution data-logging sensor that mounts on a solar tracker and records the angle of error between the sun and the tracker.
The SL1 was developed to meet the need for a tool that provides consistent and accurate information about the pointing error of solar trackers, the company says. With an accuracy of +/-0.02 degrees, the SL1 meets the precision requirements of concentrating solar power tracking systems. The data collected can be used to characterize the error in a tracking system, log a controller's performance over time, and calibrate and align trackers.
The company notes that Trac-Stat SL1 provides data on azimuth and elevation pointing error using two independent sensing systems. The wide-angle sensor is capable of locating the sun over a 60-degree field of view with +/- 0.5 degree accuracy, and the narrow-angle sensor is effective over a 5-degree field-of-view with +/-0.02 degree accuracy. These two sensors, in combination with optics, filtration and proprietary algorithms, provide flexible performance under a range of operating conditions.