Determination of the Optimal Tilt and Azimuth Angle for a Solar Tracking System considering Different Climatic Conditions

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Port Harcourt

2 Department of Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Port Harcour


One of the major challenges faced in photovoltaic technology is the ability to harvest as much energy as possible from the sun. The peculiarity in geographic location and the sun’s movement has made it difficult to get maximum irradiation from the sun. The aim of this study is to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic power generated by optimizing the altitude and azimuth of a square meter PV module and also, develop an algorithm that helps the panel to track the position of the sun for optimum power generation. University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria was used as the location chosen for this study. The results obtained present the Optimal Angles and Maximum Irradiation for 2015 to 2019. For example the optimal tilt angle for a year 2019 was 6o with a maximum irradiance of 1.62×103 Wh/m2. The azimuth angle varied from 316o to 334o. The contribution of this study, is that the calculated optimal tilt angle considered all the three components of the irradiance: diffuse, direct and albedo irradiance. The obtained optimal tilt and azimuth angles were then used to design both fixed and dual axis maximum power point tracking system. Thereafter, comparative analyses for both systems were conducted considering four significant climatic days: (1) The Winter Solstice (2) Summer Solstice (3) Vernal and (4) Autumnal Equinoxes:


  1. Daut I., Irwanto M., Irwan Y. M., Gomesh N. and Ahmad N. S., “Clear sky global solar irradiance on tilt angles of photovoltaic module in Perlis, Northern Malaysia”, International conference on electrical, control, and computer engineering, Pahang, Malaysia, June 21-22, 2011.
  2. Yan, T. K. Saha (Corresponding Author), P. Meredith and S. Goodwin “Analysis of Yearlong Performance of Differently Tilted Photovoltaic Systems in Brisbane, Australia”, Elsevier: Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 74, pp. 102-108, October 2013. DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2013.05.007
  3. Bakirci, K. (2012). General models for optimum tilt angles of solar panels: Turkey case study. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews16(8), 6149-6159.
  4. Kaldellis, J., Kavadias, K., & Zafirakis, D. (2012). Experimental validation of the optimum photovoltaic panels' tilt angle for remote consumers. Renewable Energy46, 179-191.
  5. Kaldellis, J., & Zafirakis, D. (2012). Experimental investigation of the optimum photovoltaic panels’ tilt angle during the summer period. Energy38(1), 305-314.
  6. Hafez, A. Z., Soliman, A., El-Metwally, K. A., & Ismail, I. M. (2017). Tilt and azimuth angles in solar energy applications–A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews77, 147-168.
  7. Hafez, A.Z., Yousef, A.M. and Harag, N.M., 2018. Solar tracking systems: Technologies and trackers drive types–A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews91, pp.754-782.
  8. Vieira, R.G., Guerra, F.K.O.M.V., Vale, M.R.B.G. and Araújo, M.M., 2016. Comparative performance analysis between static solar panels and single-axis tracking system on a hot climate region near to the equator. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews64, pp.672-681.
  9. Kabalcı, E., Calpbinici, A. and Kabalci, Y., 2015, June. A single-axis solar tracking system and monitoring software. In 2015 7th International Conference on Electronics, Computers and Artificial Intelligence (ECAI)(pp. SG-17). IEEE.
  10. Ponniran, A. Hashim, H.A. Munir, "A design of single axis sun tracking system," Power Engineering and Optimization Conference (PEOCO), 2011 5th International, pp.107-110, 6-7 June 2011
  11. Zhu, Y., Liu, J., & Yang, X. (2020). Design and performance analysis of a solar tracking system with a novel single-axis tracking structure to maximize energy collection. Applied Energy264, 114647.
  12. Elsayed, A.A., Khalil, E.E., Kassem, M.A. and Huzzayin, O.A., 2021. A novel mechanical solar tracking mechanism with single axis of tracking for developing countries. Renewable Energy170, pp.1129-1142.
  13. Khatib, T., & Elmenreich, W. (2016). Modeling of photovoltaic systems using Matlab: Simplified green codes. John Wiley & Sons.
  14. Idowu, O. S., Olarenwaju, O. M., & Ifedayo, O. I. (2013). Determination of optimum tilt angles for solar collectors in low-latitude tropical region. International Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering4(1), 1-10.
  15. Darhmaoui, H., & Lahjouji, D. (2013). Latitude based model for tilt angle optimization for solar collectors in the Mediterranean region. Energy Procedia42, 426-435.
  16. Jafarkazemi, F., & Saadabadi, S. A. (2013). Optimum tilt angle and orientation of solar surfaces in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Renewable energy56, 44-49.
  17. Akhlaghi, S., Sangrody, H., Sarailoo, M. and Rezaeiahari, M., 2017. Efficient operation of residential solar panels with determination of the optimal tilt angle and optimal intervals based on forecasting model. IET Renewable Power Generation11(10), pp.1261-1267.