PV panels are installed at permanent angles. The angle is usually predetermined so that there is an optimum solar radiation being received, by the panel, throughout the year. Efficiency can be increased by mounting the PV panels on a double axis, where two panels are mounted in such a way that they face away from each other, at an angle, as shown in figure 1 (Sampson 2009). This is opposed to a single axis mounting where the panel (or panels) is mounted on one side of the mounting structure as shown in figure Double fixed tilt mounting system is usually more expensive than single fixed tilt mounting system because double fixed tilt mounting structures require more materials than their single mounting counterparts do. However, double fixed tilt mounting system results to higher PV performance since the panels’ exposure to solar radiation is higher than in single fixed tilt mounting systems.
Azimuth (Sun Tracking) PV Mounting System
This mounting system aims at maximizing panel’s exposure to the sun, which results into an increase in power output. It is essentially a combination of the single and doubles axis fixed tilt mounting systems whereby an automatic adjustment system makes a single axis fixed tilt mounting system operate like a double axis mounted fixed tilt mounting system. The automatic adjustment system changes the panel’s angle with respect to the sun’s position, in the sky, and the PV array as shown in figure 3. There are two mounting arrangements under the azimuth mounting system: single axis and double axis tracking system. In the single axis sun tracking system, the panel is adjusted with respect to the sun’s East-West movement only (single axis). On the other hand, in double axis tracking system, the panel is usually adjusted along two axes, the east-west sun’s movement and the seasonal shifts in sun’s position. In other words, the double axis tracking system adjusts the panels with respect to sun’s position in the sky throughout the year (Sampson 2009). Figure 3: Azimuth PV mounting system (Sampson 2009) The azimuth PV mounting system offers power advantages compared to the fixed tilt mounting system although it is much more expensive than the fixed tilt mounting system due to its complexity. Due to their low initial and operation costs, single axis fixed tilt PV mounting systems are often used for home application (Glasnovic and Margeta 2009: 1144). In addition, single axis fixed tilt mounting systems are easy to install because they only require a mounting frame that is tilted at an angle and a PV securing system. However, power output is usually minimal, which may require people to use panels that are of a higher capacity than their domestic needs to ensure that enough power is collected during the exposure time, which is often a fraction of the daylight (Glasnovic and Margeta 2009: 1144). Otherwise, power collected during