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1..Having a look at the sun path

 

 

Geographically Australia is a large country with the majority living in the temperate zone or "down south" as it is known in the north. A problem with this is that policies, ideas and fashions are often dictated by the southerners despite the differing circumstances up in the north. Housing is a good example of this; this includes the placement of PV panels.

 

Take a look at the sun path diagrams for both Cairns and Melbourne, created by GAISMA (see Gaisma.com). In this diagram the mid-summer path is a pale blue line, the mid-winter line is shown as dark green and the yellow colour indicates the annual variation. Notice that the sun path for Cairns has much less curvature than does Melbourne. This "straightish" sun path for Cairns means that if you wish to use a tracker, a single axis tracker making the seasonal adjustments for the sun throughout the year, would do the job. The more expensive and less robust dual axis tracker (those that follow the sun like a sunflower) would not be necessary after you weigh up the extra cost verses the benefit gained.

 

 

Therefore, considering the present cost of PV, constructing a single axis tracker (facing north-south of course) in the tropical region then becomes something worth trying. A resident of the Cairns region has built one that does just that. Have a look at what he has constructed and read his comments in manual elevation of PV arrays.

 

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