Living sustainably is becoming a new trend nowadays. It is mainly connected with ecological issues. One of the main issues that a modern person faces is the application of energy. In our case, solar panels are a source of natural, renewable, and ecologically clean electric energy.
However, those people who already have solar panels in their households can tell that this energy source is highly unreliable. Its efficiency depends on the season, weather, and many more factors. They also agree that some improvements are needed to make solar panels work more efficiently. The installation of a linear actuator is one of such significant improvements that might change the efficiency of even a basic solar panel system.
A properly selected actuator, along with a solar tracker, allows performing efficient solar tracking. Sensors detect the movement of sun rays, and the actuator moves a solar panel so that it can follow the sun throughout the day to catch as much energy as possible.
You might opt for a manual system or an automated one. Check whether your preferred actuator has a remote control or if it might be purchased separately. What about a control box? Some companies sell them either in a kit with a linear actuator or separately. You might need professional help to install and set them up. Make sure the company where you are purchasing an actuator offers such assistance.
Advantages of Using Actuators in Solar Panel Systems
- The application of an actuator along with a solar tracking system brings several important advantages:
- Space-saving design: the application of electric actuators allows us to minimize the space used by solar panels. You don’t need to compromise with the amount of generated electricity.
- Maintenance costs decrease both solar panels and linear actuators almost don’t need maintenance.
- Movement precision: linear actuators are known for their top-precision of movement. It is important to follow the source of energy (sun rays).
- No negative impact on the environment: the absence of hoses, liquids, oil, and similar guarantees the top-level friendliness to the environment.
Actuators help to position the solar panel systems with top precision. It, in turn, allows capturing the maximum of solar energy thus increasing the efficiency of the system.
In both domestic and industrial applications, linear actuators allow increasing the efficiency of solar panels immensely. For a household, it means a significant decrease in bills for electricity. For a plant, it means significant savings and an increase in revenue. In both cases, we can speak about ecologically clean energy.
How to Choose a Proper Linear Actuator for a Solar Panel System
To make your solar panel system work long and efficiently, you need to select an appropriate actuator. A big variety of options you can find on https://www.progressiveautomations.com/. There, you can select actuators for automated solar panels. If you haven’t found the actuator with the required features, you can request a custom solution.
Your choice might depend on many factors, including the size of your solar installation, the climatic conditions of the area where you live, and similar. Thus, it is recommended to choose several options and compare their features. Only then, you can count on the long service life and seamless motion of your panels.
Actuators for application in solar panel systems shall comply with the following requirements:
- An actuator shall be designed for outdoor use. Consider the needed protection level. If you live in humid areas where rains are often, the needed actuator might be not only weatherproof but waterproof. IP66 and above is normally fine for a solar actuator. Make sure the IP rating is valid for both dynamic and static operations.
- The lifetime of an actuator shall be enough to guarantee the issueless operation for a maximally long period. Consider though that the lifetime of your actuator will depend on many factors. In harsh conditions, the lifetime of your actuator will be significantly shorter than in the optimal conditions. Normally, a reliable manufacturer offers you a guarantee for around 5 years of work on the device. The warranty period, however, is not one of the main factors to pay attention to.
- What is the maximum and the minimum temperature in your area? Your actuator shall be able to operate within the range.
- Consider the weight of your solar panel installation. The selected actuator`s capacity shall allow it to handle it. Consider not only the weight that your actuator shall be able to move but also the weight that it can support on static. If you live in an area where strong winds are common, take into consideration the wind force, too.
- The actuator shall not generate much noise while it is moving. You don’t want to end up listening to mechanical noises the whole day.
- Actuator stroke shall be enough to move your panel. The stroke depends on the type of accommodation, the solar panel system, average weather conditions.
Some More Things to Consider
When selecting a linear actuator for your solar panel system, pay attention to the offers from companies that have some experience in the market. Linear actuators shall work for many years.
Reliable companies have developed their specific procedures of actuator testing. They guarantee the indicated service life of your actuator under specific conditions. Such companies have developed clear and transparent return policies.
Depending on a solution, you might want to install it on your own or to order a professional installation service. Check out in advance whether the manufacturer provides both options.