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Single Axis Tracker Mechanical Limits Graphical Entry


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When simulating single-axis-trackers, limits affect the magnitude of deviation from a horizontal orientation:


but when entering the corresponding limits in the Orientation dialog, the graphical “interpretation” assigns these angles to the post-to-limit angle, rather than the horizontal-to-limit.


It is reasonable to indicate that some range of angles is not reachable (I would not have selected “green” as the color to reflect this restriction, but that is not material), but it is not reasonable to map the numbers in the numeric entries to that “green” region… they should be mapped to the complement (90-value) of that restricted region.

The “workaround” is to ignore the graphical assistance and simply enter the correct numbers, but the graphical assistance is highly misleading to inexperienced engineers.


Example of as-computed interpretation of tracker position angles


Example of incorrect graphical representation of this limit, with added (black) correct representation

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Thank you for the feedback on this tool. We will take this kind of comments into account for a future overhaul.

The reason for this graphical representation is that the "handle" on the rotation angle is the "lever" with the red point, below the tracker table. If you move the lever around the limits should become quite intuitive.

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I don't fault you for making the graphical input. If the 90-red_dot_angle fix is implemented then the corresponding graphical intuition should be very helpful. Thank you for adding this item to your backlog.

However, I strongly dispute your assertion that the current implementation is "improving" anyone's understanding of what is actually happening in the calculations. If it is used "intuitively" then wrong values will be entered into the text entries and the simulation results will not reflect the actual hardware design.

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