When we started with the solar panel project on Wind Horse, we were 100% certain we would use the panels only in flat mode, unless they were in storage configuration at the dock (in the past we have always thought that tracking was not worth the effort). We have previously reported that substantial increases in output were recorded when the panels were squared to the sun. Now, with the Maretron N2K view data available on our iPads, we can play with tilting/angling the panels and see results as we adjust.
This astonishing photo, taken on a clear day, with the sun just above the horizon, 30 minutes from sunset, is an example of what is possible. That 30 amps of output shown is at 26 volts, so 780 Watts, during a period when output would be zero for flat panels (you will recall that this is with four 320 Watt panels). The extra output is alluring, and we have pulled the trigger on the aluminum required to modify the current dual array system into a single array. This will allow tilting and rotating without one array shading the adjacent.
We expect a substantial increase in power output from a very small investment in time. On a clear winter day nine to ten kilowatt hours should be easily attainable.