• Eduardo F. CamachoEmail author
  • Manuel Berenguel
  • Francisco R. Rubio
  • Diego Martínez
Part of the Advances in Industrial Control book series (AIC)


This chapter deals with the fundamentals of photovoltaic (PV) systems. After a general overview of the related concepts, a Sun tracking strategy which provides small Sun tracking errors (needed by high-concentration solar arrays) is introduced. The algorithm consists of two tracking modes: a normal tracking mode, used whenever the Sun tracking error is small enough and the solar irradiance is great enough; and a search mode, which operates when the first of the above conditions is not fulfilled but there is sufficient solar radiation to produce a minimum amount of electric power. Energy saving factors have been taken into account in the tracking strategy design. Simulated and experimental results showing the benefits of the strategy, when errors in the estimation of the Sun’s position (such as variations in the time given by the auxiliary clock or lack of precision in the alignment of the mechanical structure with respect to geographical North), are included.


Tracking Error Search Mode Maximum Power Point Tracking Maximum Power Point Tracking Strategy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Abdallah, S., Salem, N.: Two axes Sun tracking system with PLC control. Energy Convers. Manag. 45(11–12), 1931–1939 (2004) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 27.
    Baltas, P., Tortoreli, M., Russel, P.: Evaluation of power output for fixed and step tracking photovoltaic arrays. Sol. Energy 37(2), 147–163 (1986) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 56.
    Blanco-Muriel, M., Alarcón-Padilla, D.C., López-Moratalla, T., Lara-Coira, M.: Computing the solar vector. Sol. Energy 70(5), 431–441 (2001) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 114.
    Clifford, M.J., Eastwood, D.: Design of a novel passive solar tracker. Sol. Energy 77, 269–280 (2004) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 134.
    Esram, T., Chapman, P.L.: Comparison of photovoltaic array maximum power point tracking techniques. IEEE Trans. Energy Convers. 22(2), 439–449 (2007) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 176.
    Helwa, N.H., Bahgat, A.B.G., Shafee, A.M.R.E., Shanawy, E.T.E.: Maximum collectable solar energy by different solar tracking systems. Energy Sources 22(1), 23–34 (2000) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 183.
    Hua, C., Lin, J.: A modified tracking algorithm for maximum power tracking of solar array. Energy Convers. Manag. 45(2), 911–925 (2004) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 231.
    Lo, Y., Chiu, H.J., Lee, T.P., Purnama, I., Wang, J.M.: Analysis and design of a photovoltaic system DC connected to the utility with a power factor corrector. IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron. 56(11), 4354–4362 (2009) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 267.
    Neville, R.C.: Solar energy collector orientation and Sun tracking mode. Sol. Energy 20(7), 7–11 (1978) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 303.
    Poulek, V., Libra, M.: A very simple solar tracker for space and terrestrial applications. Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 60, 99–103 (2000) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 327.
    Roth, P., Georgiev, A., Boudinov, H.: Design and construction of a system for Sun-tracking. Renew. Energy 29(3), 303–402 (2004) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 328.
    Roth, P., Georgiev, A., Boudinov, H.: Cheap two axis Sun following device. Energy Convers. Manag. 46, 1179–1192 (2005) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 335.
    Rubio, F.R., Ortega, M.G., Gordillo, F., López-Martinez, M.: Application of a new control strategy for Sun tracking. Energy Convers. Manag. 48, 2174–2184 (2007) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 336.
    Sala, G., Antón, I., Arborio, J.C., Luque, A., Camblor, E., Mera, E., Gasson, M., Cendagorta, M., Valera, P., Friend, M.P., Monedero, J., Gonzalez, S., Dobon, F., Luque, I.: The 480 kWP EUCLIDESTM-Thermie power plant: instalation, set-up and first results. In: Proceeding of the 16th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conf. and Exhibition, WIP—Stephens & Associates, Glasgow, Scotland, May 2000 Google Scholar
  15. 401.
    Xiao, W., Lind, M.G.J., Dunford, W.G., Capel, A.: Real-time identification of optimal operating points in photovoltaic power systems. IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron. 53(4), 1017–1026 (2006) CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo F. Camacho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manuel Berenguel
    • 2
  • Francisco R. Rubio
    • 1
  • Diego Martínez
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Ingeniería de Sistemas y Automática, Escuela Superior de IngenierosUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Lenguajes y Computación, Escuela Superior de IngenieríaUniversidad de AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain
  3. 3.Plataforma Solar de Almería, Centro Europeo de Ensayos de Energía SolarCIEMATTabernasSpain

Personalised recommendations