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solar trackers

Soltec, a leading company in the manufacture and supply of single-axis solar trackers, forecasts the sale of 3 GW for utility-scale solar plants this year that will close 2019 with a record of almost 10 GW and a turnover of some US$400m.

Since its foundation in 2004, this Spanish entity has significantly grown its sales year after year. Soltec invoiced almost US$200m in 2018, an amount that is expected to double in 2019, representing a growth of 121%.

Soltec has more than one hundred projects worldwide and is market leader in Brazil, Peru and Colombia. It is also continuing to consolidate its position in the solar power market with revolutionary products such as its SF7 solar tracker and the SP7 Bifacial whose design has been optimised to achieve a maximum yield from bifacial modules.

“This year to date, the trend in bifacial technology is the key to utility-scale PV projects. Eight out of every ten quote requests are for bifacial, confirming our company’s commitment to innovation and research in bifacial technology”, explains Eduardo de San Nicolás, product manager at Soltec.

With its strong commitment to innovation and the development of proprietary technologies, in 2018 Soltec inaugurated its Bifacial Tracker Evaluation Center (BiTEC), to study the performance of bifacial modules in different conditions including albedo, height, distance between modules and module temperature. The research also aims to establish the best tracker design for the implementation of bifacial modules.

With 15 years of experience in the sector and over 35 patents, Soltec is present across the five continents. The company already has offices in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, the US, India, Italy, Israel, Mexico and Peru. With a development-based business model, Soltec has become a European reference in the renewable energy sector while modelling its economic growth based on care for the environment.

The SOLTEC team

Soltec’s growth is linked to its workforce. The company current has a staff of around 1,500 personnel distributed across projects and subsidiaries worldwide. As part of its commitment to job creation and the search for talent, Soltec has recently launched the second edition of the Solteach study grant, a programme that sets out to give the best professionals the opportunity receive a first-hand training in renewables from one of the business references for the sector in Spain, which has achieved a spectacular growth in recent years.

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Soltec, leading manufacturer and supplier of single-axis solar trackers in Brazil, is supplying and installing its Soltec SF7 bifacial trackers at a 475 MW project that the Enel Group’s renewable company Enel Green Power is building in Sao Gonçalo, Brasil.

The power plant occupies 892.5 hectares. The installation includes 13,728 Soltec SF7 bifacial solar trackers and 1,235,520 bifacial modules of 385 Wp each.

We have been working on projects in since 2015 and, as of today, we have projects for more than 2,145 GW. The project in Sao Gonçalo is the largest we have ever worked in the country, reinforcing our position as Brazil’s leading manufacturer and supplier for PV plants. In addition, thanks to the installation of bifacial trackers, we will be able to produce more energy optimizing the space and reducing the installation time”, explains Héctor Sánchez, Sales Manager Brazil.

Soltec will hire more than 300 new local people during the installation phase and around 15 permanent personnel during operation and maintenance.

In order to boost employability in the area, some agreements with the Local Administration were signed. The objective is training workers to take part in the installation of the plant.

Source: Soltec

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Soltec launches the second edition of its Solteach educational programme. The leading company in the manufacture and supply of solar trackers, based in Molina de Segura (Murcia), is offering 20 spaces free of charge to engineers from all over Spain to be taken up by the best academic transcripts on conclusion of their studies and by professionals who would like to specialise in renewables in the PV energy sector.

You can register as from Wednesday, 15 May with applications accepted up until Sunday, 2 June. The course involves an intensive 80-hour course covering two weeks. During the first week the classes will be taught at the ENAE School of Business Administration (Murcia), with the second week taking place at Soltec’s offices. The training course also includes a visit to one of the company’s PV plants.

This programme seeks to give the brightest professionals the opportunity to come into contact with and receive training from the renewables company of reference in Murcia that has demonstrated the best growth in recent years and enjoys the largest market share in Latin America and the US. In addition, the trainee will benefit from training from our experienced team of engineers, with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge by taking part in our projects and thereby foster their entry into the job market.

During the training course, the teachers will assess every student and those achieving the best results will be recruited for a three-month apprenticeship. After this period, selected candidates could join the company’s staff.

Soltec is very committed to job creation and, thanks to this programme, we are looking to give an opportunity to the best professionals in the sector to receive training in renewable energy”, comments Raúl Morales, company CEO.

CLICK HERE more information and to apply for the course.

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The second edition of the event ‘Solar PV Plants in Spain: development, financing and the energy future’, organised by the Spanish PV Industry Association (UNEF) and single-axis solar tracker manufacturer, Soltec. The seminar took place last 20 February at the Hotel VP Design Plaza in Madrid.

It was inaugurated by Jesús Ferrero, deputy director for Renewable Energy and comprised four round table discussions which addressed the entire PV plant development process. They also discussed questions about the energy model and technological innovations.

The PV industry is being called on to be the leading technology in order to achieve 74% from renewables from now to 2030. This commitment will not be a problem as the sector has already demonstrated that it is ready to invest”, affirmed José Donoso, the managing director of UNEF, in his opening speech.

Taking part were leading companies such as Iberdrola, Enel Green Power, EDP Renewables and Naturgy that offered the perspective of energy developers in Spain.
Bifacial technology dominated the debate during the technological round table with Canadian Solar, Power Electronics, Jinko Solar and Soltec.

The seminar concluded with a round table discussion on the financing of solar projects given by certification company DNV GL together with representatives from PwC, Bankia and Sabadell.
Following the successful calls for entries in 2018 and 2019, UNEF and Soltec will undoubtedly promote another event geared towards solar power companies that are interested in developing projects in Spain, as well as fostering relationships between Spanish companies in the sector”, confirmed Raúl Morales, CEO of Soltec.

The Spanish PV Industry Association (UNEF) is the country’s solar PV power sector association. Comprising over 300 companies, entities and groups covering the entire value chain of the technology, it represents over 85% of the sector’s activity in Spain and in practice brings together producers, installers, engineering firms, manufacturers of primary materials, modules and components, distributors and consultants. UNEF moreover holds the presidency of and is co-secretary of FOTOPLAT, the Spanish PV technological platform which brings together universities, research centres and companies of reference in PV R&D in Spain.

Soltec’s global operations and a workforce of 750 people combine experience and innovation. The company has manufacturing centres in Argentina, Brazil, China and Spain; and offices in Australia, Chile, Denmark, the US, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico and Peru. Its solar tracking units are designed and tested to withstand extreme conditions, thereby making them the perfect solution for any type of climate. The single-axis PV trackers from Soltec are self-powering and require no additional PV module or grid connection.

Soltec’s SF7 single-axis tracker enables greater efficiency with lower installation costs. The SF7 solar tracker is the innovation of a company with 15 years of history as a PV specialist. Firmly committed to renewable energies and to the environment, Soltec supports product standardisation and the success of its clients.

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Técnico de CENER en una instalación de Soltec / CENER technician in a solar plant of Soltec

The Photovoltaic Components Testing Laboratory of CENER (National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain), has obtained the ENAC accreditation for carrying out the tests on solar trackers according to the IEC 62817: 2014 standard. This milestone makes CENER the first and only one laboratory in Spain to be accredited by the spanish national accreditation entity ENAC to carry out this activity.

Solar trackers are a key element when trying to obtain the maximum level of electric generation in photovoltaic solar energy installations, and they are a critical component in concentrating photovoltaic technology systems. Solar trackers can provide an optimal orientation for photovoltaic modules, increasing the level of power generation for flat technology modules between 20% and 45% with respect to fixed tilted PV installations, depending on the type of tracking.

For this purpose, the international standard IEC 62817:2014 contains procedures to measure and verify the parameters indicated in the technical data sheet of the solar tracker. This standard establishes the acceptance and rejection criteria for the results of the tests to be carried out, and subsequently according to these results, it is possible to qualify the product. The IEC 62817:2014 standard contains, among others, climatic tests (thermal cycling tests, humidity-freeze cycles, etc.); operating tests (accelerated cycles, operation with the presence of dust, etc.); mechanical tests (wind loading, backlash, deflection, etc.); characterization of the consumption of the tracker and the precision of the tracking system, and, finally, specific testing of the tracker electronic component.

The application of the IEC standard offers the guarantee that parameters presented in the solar tracker data sheet are measured and verified by consistent and reliable procedures. At the same time this information can be used to compare the characteristics of different solar trackers.

Researchers from the Department of Photovoltaic Solar Energy of CENER have developed their own methodology based on the IEC 62817:2014 standard, implementing the test sequences and grouping them, with the aim of reducing the number of samples needed, as well as the movements of the heaviest pieces, to optimize in this way the total duration of the tests. The methodology developed has been disseminated in technical publications and international congresses, having finally obtained accreditation from ENAC.

Source: CENER

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On Tuesday 11 December, Aremur, the Renewable Energy and Energy Saving Business Association of Murcia held the first seminars in the Region of Murcia on large PV projects with the collaboration of the Regional Federation of Metal Companies of Murcia (FREMM) and Soltec, Europe’s largest solar tracker manufacturer. Entitled “Solar Plants in the Region of Murcia”, the leading players in the PV sector came together in the FREMM conference hall. The event was inaugurated by Javier Celdrán, Minister for Employment and the Environment, José Marín, Chairman of Aremur and Raúl Morales, CEO of Soltec, and involved three round table discussions which addressed the most important aspects of the implementation process of a PV plant.

After the opening introduction, Esther Marín, General Manager of Energía y Actividad Industrial y Minera, gave a presentation on the future of PV energy.

Iberdrola and REE, the Spanish electrical grid, gave their perspective on the new regulation on access and electricity connection. There was also a round table discussion on administrative matters regarding the authorisation for implementing PV plants in the Autonomous Community of Murcia.
Lastly, the event addressed the technical aspects of designing a utility-scale solar plant, as well as the advances and innovations on the subject, with contributions from JinkoSolar, Power Electronics and Soltec.

Soltec is currently constructing a 84.7 MW solar plant in the Region of Murcia. As part of the project’s corporate social responsibility actions, the company has signed a collaboration agreement with the Totana Town Hall through which they have undertaken to employ people with intellectual disabilities. In this way, users of the “Princess Letizia” Day Centre for People with Mental Illness and the “José Moyá” Day Centre for People with Intellectual Disability will be responsible for the pre-assembly of the screws destined for this PV plant.

The agreement, signed by the mayor of Totana, Andrés García Cánovas, the regional manager of Soltec in Spain, Luis Hernández, and by Ana García Vera, director of the José Moyá Centre, will provide the users of this centre with technical training in the pre-assembly of the screws, thereby fostering their personal and professional development.

In total, 2,900 units of the SF7 single-axis solar tracker will be installed in this plant that will make use of the region’s high level of solar irradiation. Once operational, the plant will avoid the emission into the atmosphere of 63,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, the equivalent to that produced by 15,000 vehicles.

Soltec’s global operations and a workforce of over 750 people bring together experience and innovation. The company has manufacturing centres in Brazil, China and Spain; and offices in Australia, Denmark, Chile, Egypt, the US, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico and Peru. Firmly committed to renewable energies and the environment, Soltec supports product standardisation and the success of its clients.

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European multinational PVH (PVHardware), manufacturer of solar trackers and structures for PV plants, has focused its efforts during the last years in developing its technology to adapt it to extreme weather conditions. After its latest projects in Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, the company has specialized in desert projects, where strong wind can be an adversity. Because of this, it was important to reduce the stow position time of the trackers as far as possible, to better protect the panels from this type of weather and to prevent possible damage.

The time to stow position is decisive to prevent harm on the structures and to avoid aeroelastic instability incidents known as fluttering. The importance of this is even higher in projects located in desert areas, where wind speed suddenly changes in a matter of minutes. In addition, during the last two years PVH’s R&D department has focused on wind tunnel tests, which allow to strengthen even further the protection against climate factors. While the trackers by other providers usually take around twenty minutes to adopt stow position, Monoline is able to make it in fifty seconds.

The value of a clever alarm system

One of the main factors to achieve this progress is the alarm system designed by the company, which includes four pre-configured levels in relation to wind speed. Thanks to this clever system, the tracker is always as close as possible to the stow position, and is able to reduce Monoline‘s standard five minutes to fifty seconds. The other key element is the motor used by this solar tracker, which is notable because of its superior power and quality, and allows for a high-level performance with a minimal number of actuators.

The Monoline technology was first launched in 2015 in El Salvador, and is currently present in thirteen photovoltaic plants in Central America, United States, Mexico and Australia. It has also been successfully used at the Benban PV project in Egypt, where PVH is installing 800 MW with different versions of Monoline.

PVH is a provider of innovative solar tracking solutions for the global utility-scale solar market, including trackers, fixed structures and SCADA system. The company has an annual production capacity of 3.5 GW.

Source: PVH

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The company supplies solar trackers to two PV plants in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais

Soltec has started to supply its trackers to two PV plants in the state of Minas Gerais, in south-east Brazil.

The municipality of Guimarânia will be home to approximately 2,800 SF7 Single-Axis Trackers that will be installed at one of the two solar plants. Soltec’s trackers will move nearly 250,000 PV modules to track the sun’s position in the sky for increased annual energy capture.

Project developer, Canadian Solar, EPC company Biosar and utility Global Power Generation (GPG) have teamed up with Soltec for this 82.5 MW project in Guimarânia. The plant is currently under construction and is scheduled to be operational by the end of December 2018.

At the same time, Soltec is also supplying its SF7 self-powered trackers to one of the largest distributed generation solar power plants in Brazil. Located in the municipality of Uberlândia, this plant will enter into operation this month.

Alsol Energias Renováveis, whose activity comprise developing renewable energy projects for companies and private individuals, chose Soltec’s trackers and the reliability of its supply for this 5 MW PV plant.

“Customers know that our experience and leading position as solar tracker supplier in Brazil make Soltec a safe bet”, says Raúl Morales, CEO of Soltec. “Soltec’s market leadership in the country has already been clearly demonstrated and is largely due to our ability to supply equipment at an astonishing rate”.

In order to cover the costs of the company’s commercial expansion that started in 2014, the year in which it launched its international trajectory by signing its first supply contract for a utility-scale solar plant, Soltec has agreed a loan for 100 million Euros in order to continue with an internationalisation process that has enabled the company to undertake projects and open subsidiaries on the five continents.

The financing has been headed up by Banco Santander, with consultation from PwC, and has involved Spain’s leading financial entities: Bankia, Bankinter, BBVA, Caixabank, Cajamar CajaRural, Ibercaja, Liberbank, Sadabell, Banco Cooperativo Español and Banco Pichincha España. Throughout the entire process Soltec has benefitted from the collaboration of Garrigues on legal matters.

Syndicated loans are a special financing method, defined by the joint intervention of several credit institutions that agree to authorise a loan which, due to its high amount, requires the cooperation of several financial institutions.

“We are grateful for the confidence that these financial entities have placed in us,” comments Morales. “This loan will allow us to continue supplying solar trackers to the increasing number of PV projects in which Soltec is involved in countries as diverse as Brazil, Egypt and Spain”.

Soltec’s global operations and a workforce of over 750 people bring together experience and innovation. Soltec has manufacturing centres in Brazil, China and Spain; and offices in Australia, Denmark, Chile, Egypt, the US, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico and Peru.

With a firm commitment to renewable energies and the environment, Soltec supports product standardisation and the success of its clients.

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Soltec has started supplying and installing its equipment at an 84.7 MW solar PV power plant in Spain. Other such projects are on the near horizon. The European Union’s clean energy directive sets a binding target of 20 percent final power consumption from renewable sources by 2020, and Spain will comply or exceed.

Located in the Region of Murcia in Southeast Spain, the PV power plant will benefit from high solar irradiation and optimal climate conditions. Adding value to the project are Soltec’s headquarters and the Solhub logistics center within a few miles of the construction site. Around 2,900 units of Soltec’s SF7 seventh generation horizontal single-axis solar tracker will be supplied.

Corporate Social Responsibility is having an important role in this project. Soltec is training local people for employment in construction, and disabled persons will carry out appropriate tasks. Underground offtake cabling and a wildlife corridor are incorporated to reduce environmental impact in addition to standard SF7 features that reduce earth grading, earth penetrations, and emissions during construction.

CEO of Soltec Raúl Morales explains: “Our standard tracker features reduce material and installation time compared to others. SF7 has fewer piles-per-MW, a lower parts count, fewer installation operations, and greater tolerance of construction variables among other advantages. The combined result of higher yield performance and robust design is what customers rely on when choosing us.”

Source: Soltec

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PVH structures and trackers have proven strong enough to resist against a natural disaster such as Hurricane Florence, which caused many fatalities in September in the Carolina states (USA). The IS31 PV plant, located in North Carolina, has a capacity of 43.2 MWp and uses Monoline single axis solar trackers by PVH. Hurricane Florence reached Category 4 strength in the same area, with estimated maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, causing the tragic death of at least 45 persons and $38 billion in damage. Under these circumstances, an incident at the IS31 plant could have also been very dangerous and disastrous, but thanks to the solid structure of PVH’s trackers it turned out to be the opposite: all workers in the plant are safe, and energy production has not been interrupted.

PVH has always taken safety and reliability very seriously for its products, and has performed strict wind tunnel testings in universities in Ontario and Madrid for years. As a result, PVH structures are prepared for minimizing aeroelastic instability incidents known as “fluttering”, which are more likely to occur when the wind is strong, and to withstand natural phenomena such as this one.

In addition, PVH’s engineers always analyze the terrain and climatology of each area in depth, in order to adapt the foundations and materials to the needs of each solar plant. Taking all this into account, and despite the inevitable concern caused by a natural disaster like this, PVH’s personnel always had full confidence in the resistance of the IS31 plant and its structure, and knew that the energy production would not be affected. Furthermore, the maintenance costs caused by this event have been minimal, and workers have safely resumed activity.

A typhoon in the Philippines

In the Philippines, the Typhoon Mangkhut (also known as Typhoon Ompong) has been even more devastating this same month. It caused its main damage in the northern part of the country, but it could also be felt at the Leyte photovoltaic plant, where PVH provided fixed tilt structure. Everybody working in this plant is also safe, and the solar structure has not suffered any damage. It is not the first time that the Leyte plant has faced this kind of adversities, because the typhoon season takes place every year in the Philippines around this time, to a greater or lesser extent.

Structures and trackers by PVH are capable of adapting to the most complicated locations and overcoming extreme conditions, offering efficient and profitable long-term solutions for every situation. From strong winds, and damp and saline environments, to the sand, dust and high temperatures of the desert.

Source: PVH

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