Single-Axis Tracker Control Optimization Potential for the Contiguous United States

Kevin Anderson, Saurabh Aneja

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Conventional tracker control algorithms maximize collection of direct irradiance with no regard for collection of diffuse irradiance. Therefore, a tracker control algorithm that optimizes for maximal total irradiance, not just direct, might realize improved insolation collection. Using weather data gridded at 0.25° by 0.25° latitude/longitude spacing covering the contiguous United States, we evaluate the insolation gain of two alternative control algorithms optimized for improved total irradiance collection in monofacial arrays and present annual and monthly geographic heatmaps showing the gains across the contiguous United States. Certain locations show potential annual insolation gains approaching 1.0%, but most locations with recently-built tracker systems show annual gains between 0.1% and 0.4%. We also demonstrate a relationship between a climate's annualized diffuse insolation fraction and its potential tracker optimization insolation gain.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 IEEE 49th Photovoltaics Specialists Conference (PVSC) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Duration: 5 Jun 202210 Jun 2022


Conference2022 IEEE 49th Photovoltaics Specialists Conference (PVSC)
CityPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5K00-82811 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-85031


  • diffuse
  • insolation
  • optimization
  • photovoltaic
  • single-axis
  • tracking


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