When it comes to generating green energy via solar power, it goes without saying that the sun is a necessary component. So how can the amount of solar energy captured by these panels be optimized? By following the sun more closely, of course.
That was precisely the idea that Advanced Technology & Research Corp. ran with when they received a $1.1 million grant last year from the Maryland Energy Administration.
What came of that idea and the monetary support was a Solar Pole Tracker, a device that—by using a GPS controller to track the sun throughout the day—increases the panel energy intake by up to 30%.
With 1,200 of these tracker poles in the works, the company hopes to find government agencies and private businesses that would be willing to try them out. They are thinking that the technology would be perfect for light and utility poles situated anywhere from malls to parks.
The devices range in price from $700 to $1,760, but could pay for themselves within five years with help from energy credits and extra power that can be sold back to the grid.
Advanced Technology & Research Corp. doesn’t plan on stopping there, however. They are currently in the process of making a solar tracker for homeowners, and another that could even be attached to wind turbines.
Photo Credit: Andrew Maiman via Flickr CC
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