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At the technical University of Trier, two identical mono-pole racks have been installed on the university campus, each equipped with 500 Wp of photovoltaic (PV) modules. At first the orientation of the modules of both racks was exactly the same, facing due south with an inclination of 30. After the first sets of measurements to compare the performance of the two plants, one of the racks was equipped with an active one-axis tracking system. Key points of the rack and tracking design were low cost and durability. The active tracking is performed using a computer controlled stepper motor connected with a warm gear. The motor is computer controlled enabling the application of different control mechanisms such as open loop, closed loop and fuzzy logic controls to determine the most efficient tracking method. At this location on the university campus the two systems will serve for demonstration purposes of photovoltaic PV system design, for education in mechanical and electrotechnical engineering and applied computer science.

Additional information

Authors: BERGER J, Fachhochschule Trier (DE);MOLTER K, Fachhochschule Trier (DE);ARENZ H, Fachhochschule Trier (DE);HELMKE C, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 14th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, Barcelona (ES), 30 June - 4 July 1997
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 40746 ORA
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