According to reports, Indian developers, it seems, are not great fans of tracker systems. Today, India has around 800 MW of solar PV capacity, while less than 8 MW are with trackers. Ask why they don’t use trackers, and the answers are invariably the same: too many moving parts and therefore a maintenance headache, benefits do not justify the costs, and risk of failure of one tracker affecting performance of whole system.
According to Mr Ganapathy Murugesh, all these are unfounded and pretty soon, use of tracker in solar PV will become the norm rather than the exception. Mr Murugesh works for Infinite Ercam, a joint venture of Infinite Energy of the US and Energica Ercam of Spain, which produces tracker systems. This joint venture has high hopes for trackers in India. Mr Murugesh says the developers have got it all wrong about trackers. Don’t worry about maintenance, we will guarantee you uptime, provided, of course, you give us the maintenance job too, he says. According to his calculations, if you assume 1 MW solar system costs Rs 10 crore, one with a single-axis tracker will cost Rs 11 crore and a dual-axis tracker, Rs 11.5 crore. The single-axis tracker will enhance generation by 23 per cent and the dual-axis by 33 per cent.
Infinite Ercam has installed trackers in two plants in India, BAP in Rajasthan and Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. The projected generation for fixed, single-axis and dual-axis systems are 1.66 mu, 1.92 mu and 2.08 mu for BAP, and 1.51 mu, 1.84 mu and 1.87 mu for Mayiladuthurai.
As tariffs go down, developers will discover the indispensibility of trackers, says Mr Murugesh, and that is why Infinity Ercam is bullish about its business in India.