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Model Development and Validation of a Dual-Axis PV Tracking System: A Case of South Africa

Percy Andrew Hohne 1, Kanzumba Kusakana 1, and Bubele Papy Numbi 2
1. Dept. of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, Central Univ. of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa
2. Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban 4031, South Africa

Abstract—Dual axis photovoltaic (PV) tracking system is considered in general to be a poor investment. This is mainly due to the substantial initial investment costs that these systems carry. However, in recent years, solar panels and accompanying component costs have decreased significantly. Additionally, electricity price hikes in South Africa have compelled most of the country’s citizens to reconsider their sources of electrical energy. A popular alternative to grid energy in South Africa is the use of photovoltaic systems. Careful consideration is required when choosing from the various systems available on the market. The main method for maximizing the output power of these systems is to introduce solar tracking systems. Therefore, in this paper, a model of a dual axis tracking system is developed and validated against a real-world plant in the Bloemfontein region in South Africa. The presented model was observed to be accurate to within an error rate of 6.39%. Additionally, the performance of the inverters of the PV tracking systems were evaluated and discussed. The validated model may prove to be an excellent tool for energy managers to determine the feasibility of such systems, compared to conventional photovoltaic setups.
Index Terms—Dual axis PV tracking system, model development, model validation, PV performance analysis

Cite: Percy Andrew Hohne, Kanzumba Kusakana, and Bubele Papy Numbi, "Model Development and Validation of a Dual-Axis PV Tracking System: A Case of South Africa," International Journal of Electrical and Electronic Engineering & Telecommunications