How to Choose the Right Sun Tracker?

Sun Trackers Kipp & Zonen RaZON+ (left) and SOLYS2

A complete measurement of solar irradiance includes global (GHI), direct (DNI), and diffuse (DHI or DIF) radiation. To accomplish this, a high-quality solar monitoring station typically comprises an automatic sun tracker fitted with instruments to measure these components individually. Depending on the application, long-wave radiation and reflected short-wave radiation may be added to provide the total radiation balance. This is especially relevant for meteorological and climatological observations. Furthermore, ultraviolet radiation and other measurements may also be taken.

For most applications it is not only the momentary value of the parameter being measured that is important. Variations in the amount of energy received over a period of time, and the effects to be expected as a result, are extremely important. It is usual to measure and record meteorological parameters during the diurnal cycle (daily course) in order to make predictions about the future weather conditions.

Three models, choose the right sun tracker for your application

To keep all instruments aligned with the solar orbit, automatic sun trackers follow the path of the sun. OTT HydroMet offers three different models under the product brand Kipp & Zonen:

RaZON+

ALL-IN-ONE Solar Monitoring System that provides global (GHI), direct (DNI) and diffuse (DHI) irradiance and can be expanded to a full weather station with third party sensors. GPS and data logging are integrated. Customer friendly interface and anti-soiling design to reduce maintenance.

Applications: It is a perfect fit for small meteorological stations, used in temperate climates. Ideal for solar energy resource mapping, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV) and tracking PV site prospecting. Continuous power plant monitoring.

SOLYS2

Versatile sun tracking solution, a wide range of radiometers can be mounted. The integrated GPS automatically configures location and time. Solar position and status monitoring information are available via the communication ports.

Applications: For use in harsher climates and to carry multiple instruments. Meteorology, climatology and BSRN stations. Solar energy site prospecting and plant monitoring.

SOLYS Gear Drive

High-end sun tracker for all weather conditions and locations. It builds on the features of the SOLYS2 and has enhanced capabilities that make it suitable for use with heavy loads and in the harshest climates, such as polar conditions.

Applications: Designed for use in extreme climates; very hot, very cold and high wind speeds. Can carry a large number of instruments and heavy loads. Ideal for many scientific research purposes.

Overview

This table gives an overview which sun tracker is the appropriate one for your purpose.

RaZON+SOLYS2SOLYS Gear Drive
Best price/performance ratio
Easy transportable, low weight--
Low power--
Integrated measurement / calculation of GHI, DNI, DIF--
Anti-soiling radiometer design--
Allows fitting of non Kipp & Zonen radiometers-
Other instruments can be loaded-✅ up to 20 kg✅ up to 80 kg
Operates under extreme cold conditions (< -20 °C)-✅ (AC power only)✅ (AC power only)
Sun sensor for active tracking-✅ optional
Daily uncertainty GHI2%1 to 2%1 to 2%
Daily uncertainty DNI2%1%1%
Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) compatible-

Are you interested in learning more? You can find the technical specifications and more details on the Sun Tracker Comparison. Further questions? Our team of researchers and technical experts is happy to help.

You might also like these articles

ISO 9060 Class A Pyranometers provide the most accurate measurements of solar irradiance

Class A Pyranometers: Choosing the Right Type for Your PV Plant

To ensure top performance of solar PV installations, leading irradiance measurement instrumentation is required for both site assessment and resource monitoring. The quality of pyranometers and pyrheliometers is defined by...
MeteorologySolar Energy
Spottlight Newsletter Title Image

Newsletter – SPOTTLIGHT 02/24

This is the web version of the OTT HydroMet Newsletter. If you want to receive the email, you can subscribe here by choosing 'Solutions, Products and News'. Greetings reader, A...
HydrologyMeteorologySolar Energy

Product Updates: Firmware & Software

OTT HydroMet is constantly working to improve products to meet your needs in the field. Below are the latest upgrades to our existing products. To download the files, please scroll...
HydrologyMeteorology