ACS55 inverter drives active solar tracking and increases energy from sunlight by 30%

ACS55 drives active solar panel tracking

Solar panels using ABB ACS55 inverters to track the sun will increase the productivity of solar power plants by up to 30 %.  From sunrise to sunset active trackers use an electric motor system to turn the panel to maximise the sun’s energy.


Tracking the sun

The most common solar tracker is pole mounted, using a one- or two-axis construction to turn the solar panels towards the sun. The one-axis system turns the panel horizontally while the two-axis system adds a tilting motion to the panel. The tracking system increases the solar power plant yield by 30 % compared to a stationary system.


Active trackers with ACS55 drives lower costs

Active trackers use an electric motor to turn the panel, and a sensor or timer to give a reference for the direction. The sensor detects the position of the sun or the timer gives a reference based on the time of the day.


Adding an ACS55 drive to the solar tracker provides a soft-start function to the motor.  By eliminating high starting currents and mechanical shocks through the soft-start feature results in smoother rotation and reduced mechanical wear.  The drive lowers maintenance costs and extends the life of the system compared to direct starting methods.


The solar trackers for protection against extreme weather.

During strong wind or snow fall, the tracking system turns the panel to a safety position to protect it from the forces of nature. These functions can be easily integrated into more advanced ABB drives, reducing the need for an external control system.


The drive options include a variety of fieldbus interfaces for easy remote diagnostics of the system. With drive configuration tools the parameters can be copied into a drive in a matter of seconds resulting in substantial time savings for solar power plants with hundreds or even thousands of trackers.


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