Saturday, June 23, 2007

Next Generation SunPower Solar Tracker : 30% more energy

California-based SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR) used the Intersolar 2007 conference in Germany to announce a next generation of its solar power tracking system.

The SunPower Tracker tilts up to 25 degrees and delivers up to 30 percent more energy than other fixed-tilt systems, the company said, while reducing required land area and installation cost.

According to SunPower, benefits of the new single-axis system include higher energy delivery per land area than conventional trackers, fewer moving parts and higher reliability than dual-axis tracking. In addition, "backtracking" allows the panels to change direction as necessary, avoiding shading and preventing panel sun spots.

Advocates of dual-axis tracking (i.e. in which panels both swivel and tilt to follow the sun) believe the extra mechanism complication is offset by improved conversion efficiency and higher outputs.

A SunPower spokesperson confirmed the new tracker is not simply the PowerLight tracker renamed, but a brand new system.

The new SunPower system scales from 50-kilowatt installations to large, multi-megawatt solar power plants, the company said.

Each Tracker module generates up to 2.5 kilowatts of power and comes with a 25-year warranty.

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