Performance Evaluation of a Pseudo Two-axis Sun Tracking System

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Mechanical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran


Tracking the sun is an important method for increasing the electricity generation of photovoltaic panels. Sun tracking systems are designed to track the sun with one axis or two axes, based upon solar azimuth angle and altitude angle. In this research, a pseudo two-axis sun tracker is presented and applied for installing the photovoltaic panel on. In this tracking system, one rotating motor is used instead of two, and more solar radiation is absorbed compared with common one-axis tracking systems. The results show that pseudo two-axis sun tracking system gains 2.82% more radiation than the conventional one-axis sun tracker. Through adjusting the angle two times a year, 4.01% more radiation is gained and adjusting the angle four times a year results in gaining 4.12% more radiation, while using a two-axis sun tracker results in 4.39% more radiation on the panel compared with one-axis sun tracker. The pseudo two-axis sun tracker’s performance with adjusting angle four times a year has little difference with two-axis sun tracker and due to using one motor instead of two, using a pseudo two-axis sun tracker is more economical. The percentage of increased radiation of pseudo two-axis sun tracker compared with fixed panel differs for various cities, which could be as high as 31% for some major Iranian cities.


  1. Abdallah, S. and S. Nijmeh, Two axes sun tracking system with PLC control. Energy conversion and management, 2004. 45(11-12): p. 1931-1939.
  2. Bakos, G.C., Design and construction of a two-axis Sun tracking system for parabolic trough collector (PTC) efficiency improvement. Renewable energy, 2006. 31(15): p. 2411-2421.
  3. Sungur, C., Multi-axes sun-tracking system with PLC control for photovoltaic panels in Turkey. Renewable energy, 2009. 34(4): p. 1119-1125.
  4. Sefa, I., M. Demirtas, and I. Çolak, Application of one-axis sun tracking system. Energy conversion and Management, 2009. 50(11): p. 2709-2718.
  5. Chang, T.P., Performance analysis of tracked panel according to predicted global radiation. Energy Conversion and Management, 2009. 50(8): p. 2029-2034.
  6. Li, Z., X. Liu, and R. Tang, Optical performance of vertical single-axis tracked solar panels. Renewable Energy, 2011. 36(1): p. 64-68.
  7. Maatallah, T., S. El Alimi, and S.B. Nassrallah, Performance modeling and investigation of fixed, single and dual-axis tracking photovoltaic panel in Monastir city, Tunisia. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2011. 15(8): p. 4053-4066.
  8. Chin, C., A. Babu, and W. McBride, Design, modeling and testing of a standalone single axis active solar tracker using MATLAB/Simulink. Renewable Energy, 2011. 36(11): p. 3075-3090.
  9. Colli, A. and W.J. Zaaiman, Maximum-power-based PV performance validation method: application to single-axis tracking and fixed-Tilt c-Si systems in the Italian Alpine region. IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 2012. 2(4): p. 555-563.
  10. Huang, B.-J., Y.-C. Huang, G.-Y. Chen, P.-C. Hsu, and K. Li, Improving solar PV system efficiency using one-axis 3-position sun tracking. Energy Procedia, 2013. 33: p. 280-287.
  11. Eke, R. and A. Senturk, Performance comparison of a double-axis sun tracking versus fixed PV system. Solar Energy, 2012. 86(9): p. 2665-2672.
  12. Jafarkazemi, F., S. Ali Saadabadi, and H. Pasdarshahri, The optimum tilt angle for flat-plate solar collectors in Iran. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 2012. 4(1): p. 013118.
  13. Ingenhoven, P., G. Belluardo, D. Moser, and W. Sparber, Sun tracker performance analysis for different solar module technologies in an alpine environment. Journal of solar energy engineering, 2014. 136(3).
  14. Despotovic, M. and V. Nedic, Comparison of optimum tilt angles of solar collectors determined at yearly, seasonal and monthly levels. Energy Conversion and Management, 2015. 97: p. 121-131.
  15. Lazaroiu, G.C., M. Longo, M. Roscia, and M. Pagano, Comparative analysis of fixed and sun tracking low power PV systems considering energy consumption. Energy Conversion and Management, 2015. 92: p. 143-148.
  16. Bruno, R., P. Bevilacqua, L. Longo, and N. Arcuri, Small size single-axis PV trackers: control strategies and system layout for energy optimization. Energy Procedia, 2015. 82: p. 737-743.
  17. Fathabadi, H., Novel high efficient offline sensorless dual-axis solar tracker for using in photovoltaic systems and solar concentrators. Renewable Energy, 2016. 95: p. 485-494.
  18. Eldin, S.S., M. Abd-Elhady, and H. Kandil, Feasibility of solar tracking systems for PV panels in hot and cold regions. Renewable Energy, 2016. 85: p. 228-233.
  19. Seme, S., B. Štumberger, and M. Hadžiselimović, A novel prediction algorithm for solar angles using second derivative of the energy for photovoltaic sun tracking purposes. Solar Energy, 2016. 137: p. 201-211.
  20. Lee, K.-Y., C.-Y. Chung, B.-J. Huang, T.-J. Kuo, H.-W. Yang, H.-Y. Cheng, P.-C. Hsu, and K. Li, A novel algorithm for single-axis maximum power generation sun trackers. Energy Conversion and Management, 2017. 149: p. 543-552.
  21. Saymbetov, A., S. Mekhilef, N. Kuttybay, M. Nurgaliyev, D. Tukymbekov, A. Meiirkhanov, G. Dosymbetova, and Y. Svanbayev, Dual-axis schedule tracker with an adaptive algorithm for a strong scattering of sunbeam. Solar Energy, 2021. 224: p. 285-297.
  22. Jamroen, C., C. Fongkerd, W. Krongpha, P. Komkum, A. Pirayawaraporn, and N. Chindakham, A novel UV sensor-based dual-axis solar tracking system: Implementation and performance analysis. Applied Energy, 2021. 299: p. 117295.
  23. Antonanzas, J., M. Arbeloa-Ibero, and J. Quinn, Comparative life cycle assessment of fixed and single axis tracking systems for photovoltaics. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2019. 240: p. 118016.
  24. Kang, H., T. Hong, S. Jung, and M. Lee, Techno-economic performance analysis of the smart solar photovoltaic blinds considering the photovoltaic panel type and the solar tracking method. Energy and Buildings, 2019. 193: p. 1-14.
  25. Kang, H., T. Hong, and M. Lee, Technical performance analysis of the smart solar photovoltaic blinds based on the solar tracking methods considering the climate factors. Energy and Buildings, 2019. 190: p. 34-48.
  26. Hoffmann, F.M., R.F. Molz, J.V. Kothe, E.O.B. Nara, and L.P.C. Tedesco, Monthly profile analysis based on a two-axis solar tracker proposal for photovoltaic panels. Renewable energy, 2018. 115: p. 750-759.
  27. Duffie, J.A. and W.A. Beckman, Solar engineering of thermal processes. 2013: John Wiley & Sons.
  28. Nematollahi, O., P. Alamdari, and A. Alemrajabi. Monthly mean clearness index for few Iranian cities. in 10th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies. 2011.