What is Motion Free Optical Tracking (MFOT) ?


Motion Free Optical Tracking, is a passive mechanism to redirect sunlight. As there are no active components that requires external stimuli or mechanical movements its very cost effective.




How does it work?


Sunlight at a given geographic location has a large variation of solar azimuth and solar elevation angles throughout the year. The complex prismatic structures on glass (or PMMA) developed using various proprietary algorithms and techniques ensures that sunlight is redirected as appropriate for a given application.




Will it work over the course of the day/year or only at specific times?


MFOT can be designed according to needs and applications. Different applications need different types of redirection based on time, input and cost considerations.




How does MFOT help with solar photovoltaic application ?


MFOT helps by redirecting sunlight in such a way as to compensate for cosine losses. The geometric design pattern developed ensures that the one sun limit is never exceeded.




What are cosine losses ?


In optics, Lambert's cosine law states that the radiant intensity or luminous intensity observed from an ideal diffusely reflecting surface is directly proportional to the cosine of the angle θ formed between the direction of the incident light and the surface normal. For example, the radiant light intensity incident at 60 degrees on a surface, is half the radiant intensity of light perpendicular to the surface.




What is one sun limit ?


The total amount of energy available when the sun is facing the solar panel at a direction perpendicular to its face. Most solar panels are designed to handle this limit and exceeding this limit might void the warranties that come with solar cells.




Will it work over the course of the day/year or only at specific times?


PV-MFOT has been designed to provide performance improvements over the course of the entire year. PV-MFOT focuses on improving the performance in the mornings and evenings to bring it up to peak performance similar to a physical tracking system. There is very little performance improvements we can gain by redirecting at noon without crossing the one sun limit.




What is the percentage improvement of MFOT compared to Fixed panel and Single Axis Tracker?


Currently PV-MFOT’s annual average performance gain is 20% more than fixed solar panel and same as HSAT(Horizontal Single Axis Tracker). It is possible to further improve the performance up to 30% - we are currently working on this.




Are there any moving parts involved? Any maintenance costs?


There are absolutely no moving parts involved and this is what sets MFOT apart from physical trackers. In spite of having the same efficiency as a single axis tracker, there are no high maintenance costs. And this is instrumental in bringing down the LCOE(Levelized Cost of Energy).




What is the lifetime guarantee of MFOT ?


The lifetime guarantee is the same as any solar panel, dependent on the material used in the back side 25 years for Tedlar and 30 years guarantee for glass.




Does the Inter-row spacing between PV Panels Change ?


Interpanel spacing to avoid shadowing is the same as that of a fixed tilt of the same specifications.




Is MFOT same as Low Concentration Solar PV ?


No. Low or Medium concentration Solar PV does not consider ​limiting the solar illumination to less than one sun. If the solar intensity is more than one sun for a PV cell, it would get heated up thereby reducing the efficiency of the panel.




Can MFOT be used with other technologies - textured glass, efficient cells, bifacial, PERC?


Yes, that is the beauty of MFOT. If there is a technology that gives an improvement in efficiency, PV-MFOT can be used in conjunction with it to give a further improvement in efficiency(currently 20%).




Can MFOT be used across different locations?


Yes, PV-MFOT can be used in any location.




Do MFOT panels suffer from non-uniform illumination?


Non-uniform illumination in a solar panel refers to cells being illuminated non-uniformly thus reducing the electrical performance when cells are connected in series due to creation of hot spots. This is a common problem seen due to shading or any reflector based designs. MFOT does not suffer from this problem as our patented prisms illuminate the cells uniformly.




Can MFOT be used for rooftop as well as utility scale?


Yes, MFOT panels can go on a rooftop or a large solar farm.




What are the land requirements before installing an MFOT panel ?


There are no special requirements for PV-MFOT. There are no limitations with respect to slope/terrain unlike a tracker. It can be installed wherever a fixed solar panel can be installed.





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