Maximizing Yield with Improved Single-Axis Backtracking on Cross-Axis Slopes

Kevin Anderson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

10 Scopus Citations


Many tracking PV systems avoid row-to-row shading by backtracking in morning and afternoon. Because the common single-axis backtracking implementation assumes the array is in a horizontal plane, it does not fully prevent row-to-row shading in arrays installed on cross-axis slopes, e.g. an east-west slope for a tracker with north-south axis alignment. This paper presents the simulated effect of reduced self-shading on annual production with two modified backtracking strategies. Depending on the array geometry and the steepness of the cross-axis grade, using a modified backtracking strategy improved annual yield by 3-10%.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2021
Event2020 47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC) - Calgary, Canada
Duration: 15 Jun 202021 Aug 2020


Conference2020 47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC)
CityCalgary, Canada

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5K00-76023 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-79278


  • backtracking
  • computational modeling
  • mathematical model
  • production
  • standards
  • sun
  • temperature measurement


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