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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Performance Comparison of Tracking and Non-Tracking Solar Photovoltaic Water Pumping Systems

item Clark, Ray
item Vick, Brian

Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Two 100 Watt solar water pumping systems, each consisting of two 53 W photovoltaic panels and a diaphragm pump, were installed to provide water for livestock. The pumps were set at a depth of 30 m and the systems were identical except that one set of photovoltaic panels was mounted on a passive tracking device and the other set of panels was mounted in a fixed position. The passive tracking system was observed 'flipped over' out of the direct rays of the sun when the wind was gusting from the southwest. However, the passive tracking system pumped enough additional water during the early mornings, late afternoons, and days with low winds to average slightly more water pumped than the fixed system. Daily water volumes averaged 1,705 L/day for the system with the fixed solar panels and 1,864 L/day for the tracking system. Although the passive tracking system pumped slightly more water, the difference in average daily rates was not enough to warrant purchasing the tracker.

Last Modified: 5/5/2015
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