SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Single-Axis Tracker Control Optimization Potential for the Contiguous United States
Kevin S Anderson1& Saurabh P Aneja2
1NREL, Golden, CO, United States
/2FTC Solar, Austin, TX, United States

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 gridded weather data 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 insolation gains approaching 1.0% per year, but most locations with existing tracker systems show gains below 0.5% per year.  We also demonstrate a strong relationship between a climate's annual diffuse fraction and its potential insolation gain.