Global warming threats are becoming a bigger concern each passing year. The use of natural energy has, therefore, become the most viable alternative. Solar energy is one of such vital sources of natural energy. It is renewable and a readily available form of energy ancient days people have been using. However, the trouble has been how to capture the solar power absorbed from the sun through solar panels.
Nowadays, electric linear actuators have come in to put solar energy to more efficient use. They make solar trackers the efficient machines they are, and have different mounting options. Let us explore the different types and how these electric actuators change solar power function efficiency.
What are Electric Actuators?
These are electric machines able to move a load by exerting force on it. It uses an electric motor in a special mechanism that generates the force needed for the load..
How Does an Electric Actuator Work?
In the electric actuator, there is an electric motor. This motor has a rotary motion such that its rotor or spindle rotates. The rotating mechanism contains the electric motor fastened via a drive shaft to a helical screw. The spindle rotates while in a ball screw nut.
This ball screw nut then drives backward or forward in line with the helical screw while the spindle spins. Connected to the ball screw nut is a hollow piston rod. The resulting action is a linear motion. The linear actuator continues to move in a straight line with the steady rotation of the motor.
Control signals transmit from an electric drive to the motor for rotation speed adjustments. This also controls the linear actuator’s speed. Meanwhile, there is a feedback mechanism for reporting positional data. With this, it is possible to program ghe linear actuator to move, stop and return to start position.
Torque generation is a function of the motor’s power capacity. In other words, the motor determines the force of motion the linear actuator produces.
The Main Electric Actuator Types
Smart Linear Electric Actuator
This smart linear electric actuator is of high-quality. It has a nice design and a stable precision material. The machine is also safe and durable. Just like all valve types, its field of application is broad.
Rotary Electric Cut-Off Actuator
These actuators suit the purpose of integrated standard signals. They help switch the signals into angular displacements. These angular displacements are enough to move and control the valve automatically.
Benefits of Electric Actuators in Solar Power Systems
The benefits of using an electric actuator in a solar tracking system far outweighs the cons. Here are the vital ones to consider.
Actuation technology has seen massive developments. These have helped to lower the maintenance issues that arise when replacing an actuator in automated systems. Solar trackers, for example, require less maintenance and thereby encouraging cost savings. Solar trackers use self-lubricating and sealed actuators which help ward off dust, dirt and preserve its moving parts.
Produces More Electricity
Linear actuators in solar trackers function to move and adjust them till there is enough exposure to direct sun rays. In addition, they prevent possible deviations in the system. This reduction in axial clearance enables the system to produce more electricity and increases efficiency. Depending on location, the tracking system is capable of producing up to 25 percent more electricity.
Great Income, Top Yield
When your solar trackers encounter harsh weather conditions, your electric actuators help adjust them. It keeps aligning the solar tracker to evade rain, storms and debris. These adjustments aid the continuous efficiency of the actuator technology in adverse climates. This, in turn, takes a positive toll on the income levels when in an industrial setting.
Some Electric Actuator Applications in Solar Power
Solar tracking systems fall into classes by the mode of their motion. These tracking systems have a PV surface that rotates/tilts around axes. These movements help to derive a proper angle that aids in getting sufficient sunlight. Here are some examples.
Single-axis Solar Trackers
Single-axis tracking involves rotation about an axis. It allows the movement of the PV surface to adjust in one direction at a time.
Advantages of Single-axis Solar Tracker
- Single-axis trackers have a built-in feature that makes it go with the sun’s movement.
- Single-axis trackers are cheap, very simple to set up and run at low cost.
- They are more reliable than dual-axis trackers.
- Unlike dual-axis trackers, single-axis trackers are more durable with a longer lifespan.
Dual-axis Solar Trackers
The dual-axis trackers are the types that allow rotation around more than one axes. Therefore, they’re able to collect solar energy from all angles, that is the North, South, East, and West. But their major function is via two axes. These are the primary and secondary axes.
One axis enables the movement of the solar tracker from East to West. Meanwhile, the other is responsible for North to South movements. These features grant them the name “dual-axis.”
Advantages of a Dual-axis Tracking System
- The dual-axis solar tracker is great at managing tight spaces.
- The dual-axis solar tracking system is able to boost energy supply. This compensates for less power supplied by the grid connection.
- Solar trackers, in general, provide 40% more energy when compared to their static counterpart.
Solar panel cleaning robots are an ingenious solution that combines cutting-edge technology. It encompasses and cleans solar panels effectively and efficiently without the need for physical labour. Solar panels are outfitted with a range of tools for cleaning dust, grime, and other impurities from their surface, to maintain their performance at its peak.
The solar cell output, therefore, charges the capacitor banks, functioning as a substitute for a battery system. The robot then moves from one station to another imitating the stations in a factory scenario.
In addition, the solar-powered robot possesses a voltage sensor to ensure efficient charging time. The charging time was conducted in 5 days to show the charging fluctuation affected by external factors such as weather conditions.
Considerations for Selecting Electric Actuators for Solar Power
These are features you need to consider before opting for electric actuators that change solar power energy function efficiency:
- Weather resistance: Moist and extreme weather conditions are bad business for the electric linear actuator.
- Corrosion resistance: In the same way, salt spray and other industrial chemicals may corrode the linear actuator.
- Environmental factors: Some linear actuators suit the outdoor environment better than others. Ensure to choose linear actuators built for outdoor use.
- Stroke length: This is how far the actuator is able to extend or retract.
- Load capacity: It is how much load the actuator can move for a smooth, safe and durable operation.
Electric actuators are special devices that transform electrical energy into motion. They are of different types and capabilities. The electric linear actuators are particularly useful in solar energy applications for several reasons. They require less maintenance, produce more electricity, and have better efficiency even in adverse conditions. So if you want the best out of your solar power system, electric linear actuators are the best bet for the job.