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Solar Tracker or Fixed Rig: Which Mount Is Right For You?

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Solar Tracker or Fixed Rig: Which Mount Is Right For You?

A solar tracker is a mechanical device that automatically adjusts the position of a solar panel array to face the sun. The alternative is a fixed rig, which is stationary. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Which is the best option depends on several factors, including where the solar array will be deployed geographically plus short term and long term costs.

The biggest benefit of a fixed rig is that the initial upfront cost is less than a solar tracker. The second advantage is long-term maintenance for a stationary platform is, understandably, less than a mobile one. A fixed rig is a much simpler design that uses fewer parts. However, maintenance is only one component of the ROI equation, and solar trackers have several financial factors working in their favor long term.

Solar trackers come in two types, single axis, and dual axis. Dual axis systems, which can move in two directions as opposed to one, do the best job of capturing the most sunlight. In fact, dual axis systems can produce 45% more energy than fixed rigs. That kind of energy boost can result in a surplus, which can result in a credit from the local energy company.

For some people who live in sunny areas with minimal cloud cover, a fixed rig system may meet their basic needs. However, for most applications, whether it is a single family home or a corporate skyscraper, dual axis systems have greater long-term ROI potential. The Power Tracker by Power Panel is one such dual axis system.