Solar Tracker in Chicago, IL: Types, Prices, and How To Choose

Solar Tracker in Chicago

Tired of high electricity bills? Looking for an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution for your energy needs? Then, a solar tracking system is what you need! These innovative devices, like smart solar panels, follow the sun throughout the day, maximizing energy generation and saving money.

Want to learn more about how a solar panel tracking system can change your life? Read on to explore different types of solar trackers, solar tracker costs, and the pros and cons of using a solar tracker in Chicago, Illinois.

Exploring Different Types of Solar Trackers

Solar trackers abound with a variety of models, sizes, and functionalities. Each type has unique features, advantages, and disadvantages, making the choice of the optimal device somewhat challenging.

It is important to understand that the most expensive solar tracker system is not always the best, as it depends on your needs and budget. You need to know about all types of models to choose the most suitable device for you. So, let’s talk about it.

Types of Solar Trackers by Operation Principle

Solar trackers are divided into two main types based on their operation principle: active and passive.

Passive Solar Trackers

Passive solar trackers are types of solar trackers that do not use motors or other mechanical devices to track the sun. Instead, they rely on gravity, fluids, or other natural phenomena to orient solar panels throughout the day.

Describing the principle of their operation will make everything much clearer. Here are the main stages:

  • Heat absorption stage: One side of the tracker is painted in a dark color that absorbs solar heat.
  • Gas heating stage: Inside the tracker is a sealed container with gas or liquid. When the dark side heats up, the gas or liquid expands.
  • Mechanical movement initiation stage: The expansion of the gas or liquid pushes a piston, which, in turn, tilts the solar panels toward the sun.
  • Passive return stage: When the sun sets, the dark side cools down, the gas or liquid compresses, and the piston returns the panels back to a horizontal position.

The advantages of passive trackers include:

➥    Simple construction

➥    Low cost

➥    Environmental friendliness due to operation without an additional power source

However, despite the wonderful features of these devices, there are still some drawbacks, such as:

➥    Lower tracking accuracy

➥    Scale limitations — they are effective only for small solar systems.

➥    Temperature dependence

Choosing passive solar trackers for installation in your solar system means choosing a simple and affordable solution.

Active Solar Trackers

Unlike passive ones, active solar trackers do not rely solely on the forces of nature. These intelligent devices use a power source to control a motor or mechanical device that precisely tilts and rotates solar panels throughout the day.

Operating, active trackers go through several stages sequentially:

  • Sunlight tracking: The tracker continuously determines the sun’s location using light sensors or GPS navigation.
  • Intensity analysis: The tracker system evaluates sunlight intensity to determine the optimal tilt angle for maximum solar energy absorption.
  • Positioning adjustment: The tracker precisely tilts and rotates the solar panels to keep them perpendicular to the sun’s rays.

However, it would be mistaken to think that active solar trackers do not have drawbacks. Let’s describe their key advantages and disadvantages.


➥   Maximum energy generation

➥   High efficiency even in low-light conditions

➥   Scalability


➥   Complexity of maintenance due to the presence of moving parts

➥   High solar tracker cost

➥   Need for a reliable power source

Investing in an active solar tracker is a decision for forward-thinking individuals who will pay more upfront but will subsequently spend less on maintenance and repairs.

Types of Solar Trackers Based on Movement

There are two types of solar trackers based on movement: single-axis and dual-axis solar trackers.

Single-Axis Solar Trackers

A single-axis solar tracker is a system used to increase solar energy generation by dynamically tilting solar tracking solar panels throughout the day. Unlike stationary panels fixed at one angle, trackers follow the sun’s movement from east to west, optimizing the angle of sunlight incidence on the panels.

For optimal operation, it is important to install solar tracking software in a level, open area that is not shaded by trees or other buildings.

Dual-Axis Trackers

Dual-axis solar tracking systems also increase solar energy generation, but even more efficiently. Unlike single-axis trackers, which track the sun’s movement along only one axis, dual-axis trackers orient the panels in any direction — from east to west and north to south.

As a result, dual-axis devices will shorten the payback period of your solar system. Moreover, they perform better in any climate, as they can track the sun throughout the year, regardless of its position.

Single-Axis vs. Dual-Axis Solar Tracker: Which to Choose?

A single-axis tracker is a good choice for budget-conscious homeowners living in regions with moderate insolation. In contrast, a dual-axis tracker suits owners aiming to maximize solar energy production, regardless of climate and budget.

Explore your own energy needs, and then the decision will come naturally.

Solar Tracker Cost in Chicago

Over the past few years, solar energy has become increasingly affordable due to the combination of technological advancements, improved manufacturing practices, and industry expansion. While the cost of solar panels has decreased, only some homeowners or business owners can afford the most expensive system components, including trackers.

Overall, the dual-axis solar tracker price is the highest among all types. However, the increased energy production compensates for these costs over several years, especially in regions with high insolation levels, such as Chicago.

The solar tracker average cost is no more than $1.5 per watt. If a solar system with a single-axis solar tracker price is at least $22,000, then with a dual-axis tracker, it will be at least $30,000. Moreover, the solar tracker kit price will be even higher.

Here are a few factors influencing solar tracker pricing to consider before starting your search for the ideal solar tracker in Chicago:

  • The scale of your solar system: The more solar panels you use, the more expensive the tracker will be. Larger systems require more powerful and complex trackers for effective sun tracking.
  • Your financial capabilities: Investing in trackers with the latest technologies will cost more, but at the same time, it will provide better results.
  • Brand and quality: Well-known brands and high-quality components typically come with a higher price tag. The quality of the tracker affects its reliability and service life.

Don’t rush to purchase devices – thoroughly research different options!

Maximizing Value: Investing in a Solar Tracker in Chicago

Buying and installing solar trackers is a beneficial investment in the U.S. for those looking to reduce electricity bills and become more environmentally friendly.

Rotating solar panels with trackers are expensive, but there are ways to ensure increased benefits from investments.

  • Choose the right type of tracker
If you buy the most expensive and powerful solar tracker for a small solar system, you will lose out. You will waste half of the work, and the money spent on it will be lost.
  • Conduct research
Before buying a solar tracker, it’s essential to research and compare prices from different suppliers. Make sure you’re getting prices for everything you need, including the tracker, panels, inverter, and installation.
  • Seek state and local incentives
The U.S. government offers a range of incentives to encourage people to use solar energy: tax credits, subsidies, and loans. Monitor them and find out which ones you qualify for. This way, you’ll save on the overall cost.
  • Find a qualified installer
It’s important to choose a professional contractor for solar tracker installation. Make sure they are licensed, insured, and have relevant experience.
  • Support device maintenance
It’s important to maintain your tracker properly to ensure it works efficiently. This includes regular cleaning of dirt, dust, and bird droppings, as well as inspecting the device for damage.

Solar Tracking Systems — The Future of Solar Energy in Chicago, IL

The increasing number of solar systems in Illinois is prompting Americans to consider optimizing their performance. Using a solar tracker in Chicago is an attractive choice for homeowners and business leaders. However, the high price and variety of models can be confusing.

But there’s no need to hesitate. If you’re looking for an affordable solar tracker in Chicago, Illinois, we’ve got you covered.

Don’t waste another minute — get your free solar quote right away!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main types of solar trackers available in the Chicago area?

In Chicago, all types of devices are available, from active and passive to single-axis and dual-axis trackers. The cost of single-axis solar trackers and passive ones will be significantly lower.

Why does the price of moving solar panels differ from trackers?

The price of solar trackers increases proportionally with the set of features, as more advanced technologies and expanded functionality require greater investment.

What innovations can Americans expect in the solar panel sun tracker market?

Recently, there has been talk of solar trackers with artificial intelligence. They will be able to optimize energy production autonomously, which will help reduce maintenance costs.