A report from Sandler Research found the solar tracker market is expected to grow by 17.2 percent until 2019. Solar trackers are devices that follow the sun's path throughout the day to ensure photovoltaic panels are receiving the most solar energy possible.
There are two types of solar trackers: single axis and dual axis. According to AltEnergyMag.com, single axis solar trackers are less expensive and more reliable because they don't require as much maintenance and they aren't as complicated as dual-axis trackers.
Single-axis trackers are available in horizontal or vertical designs, according to Sandler Research's press release. The vertical axis is ideal for northern or southern regions because the sun doesn't reach as high as it does above the equator. Horizontal trackers are best used in tropical regions because the sun is high at midday, but days are shorter.
Dual axis trackers come at a higher price and have more maintenance needs, according to AltEnergyMag.com. However, they are more efficient than single-axis trackers.
Sandler's report estimated that single-axis trackers improve the energy output of a solar farm by about 30 to 35 percent, whereas dual-axis trackers can boost efficiency by 36 to 41 percent.
Because of the greater efficiency, Grand View Research predicts dual-axis trackers will become the most popular over the next seven years. The report estimates that by 2022, they will grow to a capacity of 9,684.1 megawatts installed.
Rules to success
The research explained that regulations in the U.S., Germany, the Middle East and the U.K. have made for a good environment for the solar tracker market to succeed.
Feed-in Tariff schemes are expected to continue to encourage market growth over the next seven years. According to Saving Energy Trust, Feed-in Tariffs give money from energy suppliers to people who install renewable energy technology. This helps people to save on their electricity bill because they are using less energy from the grid, plus they get money back from the energy they produce themselves and the energy they direct to the grid.
However, because of the space and cost of trackers, most of the market is comprised of the utility sector. In 2015, less than 15 percent of installations came from non-utility markets, according to Grand View Research.
Sandler Research's press release also indicated the potential growth for another section of the solar industry. The report predicts the solar collector market will grow 24.9 percent from 2014 to 2019. This is in part due to government subsidies offered to people and companies who invest in the technology.
There are two types of solar collectors, according to Sandler Research. The first is concentrating solar collectors, which are used in solar plants. The second is non-concentrating, used for smaller-scale productions.
According to Mordor Intelligence, production of non-concentrating solar collectors worldwide is expected to reach 500 gigawatts a year. This is substantially higher than the production of 40 GW in 2013.