Putting solar panels on the Suntura Solar Tracker Kit

Discussion in 'SunTura Solar Trackers' started by WindyFAQ, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. WindyFAQ

    WindyFAQ WindyNation FAQ Staff Member

    I've already bought 6 solar panels each 24 V, 240 Watt, weighting 21,5 kg, 1639mm*982mm (http://www.rmcip.ru/eng/indexeng.html). They will be series connected to increase the voltage up to 48 V. For charging the rechargeable battaries I'm planning to use OutBack FM80 150 FLEXmax 80 MPPT charge controller. Could you please tell me if the complete solar tracker (http://www.windynation.com/products/solar/solar-trackers/suntura-solar-tracker-kit) is suirable for my system (concerning the size and weight of the panels) and how many panels will I be able to place on each tracker.
  2. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    You cannot use more than 500 Watts of solar panels with one tracker kit. It is true that the actuators that come with the kit could probably move over 1000 Watts of solar panels but you have to factor in wind loading. When the wind is blowing hard, the solar panels will act like a large sail. The added force on the solar panels from the wind can be very strong. For this reason, we recommend that you do not exceed 500 Watts of solar panels when using our Solar Tracker Kit: http://www.windynation.com/products/solar/solar-trackers/suntura-solar-tracker-kit

    If you can install your tracking system in an area that is completely sheltered from the wind (and that is a BIG if), then you could consider using up to 800-900 Watts of solar panels with these actuators. Windy Nation strongly recommends that you do not do this as a high wind event will cause the actuators to fail, which will send solar panels flying in the air. It is much better to use this kit with 500 Watts of solar panels or less as we recommend.
  3. WindyFAQ

    WindyFAQ WindyNation FAQ Staff Member

    Can I put higher wattage panels on this tracker?
  4. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    Basically the limits are.
    Have to fit in a 88 inch by 88 inch area.
    No more than 225 lbs total weight of panels or you will damage the actuator arms.
  5. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    The limit is actually less than 225 lbs due to wind loading. 50 mph wind could be hitting the solar panels on the Suntura Solar Tracker while the solar panels are nearly perpendicular to the wind. This creates tremendous wind loading onto the frame/actuators on the tracker. We recommend not exceeding ~150 pounds of solar panels or ~500 Watts of solar panels (whichever number you hit first).
  6. murray2paddles

    murray2paddles WindyNation Engineer

    I like the total lbs & the square inch mass as the best guide rather than total watts. As technology is always improving it is possible that cells of higher watts are being created so we can have a higher wattage panel with a smaller footprint. It us the square inch that creates that mass as a wind sail !

    Written from the Wanipigow Observatory
  7. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    Good point Murray. We will crunch the numbers and come up with the maximum surface area the tracker can realistically handle. We will do the calculation for 50 mph wind which is an extemely strong wind gust at only 10 feet above the ground.

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