Experimental Investigation on the Performance Evaluation of Solar Tracking Photovoltaic System
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The optimization of photovoltaic (PV) power generating system needs to be magnified by maximizing the solar radiation falling perpendicular on the PV module surface. The photovoltaic module can extract maximum power from solar irradiance by optimizing its orientation and its angle of inclination with the horizon. Therefore, it is recommended that for high efficiency and low loss of energy. PV module needs to be tilted at the correct angle. On the other hand, solar tracking system can be used to maximize the performance of the PV system, since solar tracking allows more energy to be produced because the solar array is able to remain aligned to the sun. The aim of this paper is to investigate experimentally the performance evaluation of solar tracking photovoltaic system. In this direction, an extensive experimental work at Faculty of Engineering, Sabratha-Libya to improve the output power of PV module by implementation of one axis tracking system. The project will include the design and construction of a microcontroller-based solar panel tracking system. The operation of the experimental model is based on DC motor intelligently controlled by a dedicated drive unit that moves PV panel according to the signals received from two simple but efficient light sensors. Practical comparison between fixed and tracking systems using identical PV modules is performed. It is found that the tracking system significantly improves the output power of PV module compared to the fixed PV panel under same climate conditions. Results indicated that the tracking system increases the output current by more than 60 % compared with fixed PV panel, especially at early morning hours and before the sunset hours. This demonstrates, as expected, that the tracker photovoltaic system provides more efficient performance compared to the fixed photovoltaic system.