College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Electrical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Electrical Engineering

College - Author 2

College of Engineering

Department - Author 2

Electrical Engineering Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Electrical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Dale Dolan, College of Engineering, Electrical Engineering Department


Solar farms use direct sunlight when operating; additionally, solar modules produce the most energy aligned perpendicular to the sun. Single axis solar tracking systems allow the rotation tilted photovoltaic panels to rotate during the day, maintaining the panels at the utmost efficiency angle. Achieving maximum power generation and reducing shade on the panels, make it crucial to have constant optimum positioning. Larger farms contain multiple rows and columns leading the panels to cast shadows on one another. Backtracking happens when you eliminate or reduce shadow casted on panels from adjacent modules. Panels positioned equidistantly and on even terrain allows backtracking to perform well. Throughout the year, the sun’s path changes through the sky. To effectively eliminate shading, the tracking algorithm must account for the time of year and corresponding irradiance. These values become the tracker parameters. The project aims to improve the pre-existing backtracking algorithm to increase energy output. Regularly changing selected sections in accordance to the tracker parameters the Cal Poly Gold Tree Solar Farm should achieve maximum production.