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Optimization Tool - Pitch Does Not Work For Tracking Systems

Rafael Santos

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Hi all!

The "optimization tool" option could be a very interesting tool to find an "optimal" pitch for a given project, but it does not seem to work with tracking systems when I change the pitch parameter, I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or if it's a bug. It gives always the same system production.

Someone had the same problem, but he/she commented on somebody else's topic... I think it is a good idea to open a separate topic about it.

And just to be clear, I tried a lot of different pitch values, from very close to far, so It is not that the pitch values are already too high! ;)



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Maybe it is an issue somehow related to the maximum tilt angle in case you should use a tracking system with "backtracking" option?


Sorry, I couldn't understand your question... I allways use backtracking in my simulations. Maybe you've got a point, since the optimization tool seems to work allright with fixed modules, but I didn't understand exactly what you meant. Could you please explain?

Thank you very much for the help!


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Backtracking shall avoid shading on your pv-panels, so you define a limitation on the angle of tilting the pv-panel at a certain pitch. Maybe this limitation is kept for also for other pitches.

If you increase the pitch you could change also this limitation, you could allow a higher tilt (because there's more space between two adjacent rows of racks), so you could benefit from a gain in incoming irradiation on your array at low solar zenith angles. ...but if the limitation will stay the same, there'll be no gain in incoming irradiation. Only you could benefit maybe from less "near shading" losses. (This now depends on your location and the specific amount and hourly distribution of irradiation, if you should use an SAT with an east-west tracking the gain from less "near shading" losses most probably should be very low. Locations far away from equator should benefit - if the irradiation at this locations early in the morning and late in the evening would not be that low. Locations (relatively) close to equator normally show a significant irradiation already early in the morning / late in the evening but they probably also will show no benefit or only a small benefit as the sun much faster reaches high solar zenith angles than at locations far away from equator.

This maybe could be an explanation, but:

1. the information about your project is very limited and still there are maybe parameters of interest which could affect the result that I do not know.

2. I yet did not use the "PV Syst optimization tool" as I do have my own one since 2011, which shows also some other results that are of interest when it comes to optimizing a solar farm. ;) ...so this is only an assumption what could be

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