Enhancing Electrical Performance of PV Panels using a Single-Axis Polar Solar Tracker in Southern Algeria
The reduced efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels in converting sunlight into electricity always necessitates economic supplements to enhance their performance. Therefore, the work presented in this paper focuses on enhancing the electrical performance of PV panels in Ouargla city, southern Algeria, by employing a single-axis polar solar tracker through a practical approach. For this purpose, a mono-axial polar solar tracker has been constructed using an Arduino Uno microcontroller. Furthermore, the PV solar panel will be positioned facing the sun using an electrical motor with a maximum power of 70 W controlled by two light sensors placed on the top of the single-axis tracker. Its axis of rotation is tilted at the latitude angle of Ouargla (32°) and faces south. According to the findings, the partial sun tracking mode led to an increase in short-circuit current that was an average gain of 88%, despite a loss in open-circuit voltage of 2% compared to the conventional one. In addition, the daily average amount of captured solar irradiation by the surface of the tracking PV panel was 41.4%, compared to the fixed one. These percentages confirm that there will be an extremely high rate of improvement in the total amount of electrical power produced.
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