Tags Posts tagged with "solar trackers"

solar trackers

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Array Technologies, pioneers of solar tracking technology, announced the release of its latest innovation today. SmarTrackTMis an optimization technology that intelligently adjusts module angles in response to weather and site conditions. The new software, in combination with DuraTrack®HZ v3 solar trackers, will optimize backtracking power production on as-built project conditions to capture the maximum power yields during diffuse light conditions.

The software suite utilizes self-learning algorithms that work independently of each other to optimize the energy output of the PV system. Once an operational strategy has been learned, the tracker system orientates PV modules to the optimal angle for power output responding to specific module technology, weather and site conditions.

SmarTrack offers three distinct optimization algorithms designed to provide optimum power production:

• Backtracking: Undulating or hillside sites can introduce shading of modules in the late or early morning hours. SmarTrack monitors power production of the as-built project and alleviates the effects of shading by backtracking to optimal production angles.
• Diffuse Light: Diffuse light conditions caused by cloud cover can rob PV plants of output. SmarTrack utilizes site production data and weather information to adjust the angle of the solar modules, providing optimal yield until the cloud cover disperses.
• Bifacial & Split-cell:Bifacial tracking promises significantly higher power yields from backside gain. PV plants equipped with SmarTrack will utilize custom algorithms to maximize energy harvest for split-cell bi-facial and mono-facial module configurations.

Source: Array Technologies

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Soltec’s trackers have been chosen for bifacial compatibility as demonstrated at the European Southern Observatory in the Atacama Desert

Soltec, a leading manufacturer and supplier of single-axis solar trackers and related services in large-scale projects, supplies complete tracker equipment to two solar PV power plants in Israel. One of them is in the Bnei Shimon regional council while the second one is being constructed in the Merhavim regional council. The project counts on a total power capacity of 17 MW, 2 MW of them bifacial.

El-Mor Renewable Energies serves as a full EPC contractor for large-scale PV solar plants. El-Mor procured 534 units of the SF7 Single-Axis Tracker and 64 units of the SF7 Bifacial.
In this project, regional challenges stem from being high-desert with extreme climate conditions; being remote from population centers and infrastructure; and having harsh supply logistics and installation circumstances that pose risks to the project timeline. Our equipment is utterly proven under desert conditions,” said Emilio Alfonso, Soltec’s VP of Sales EMEA. Soltec has supplied and installed more than 400 MW to PV plants in desert areas of Chile, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Spain, and Turkey.

Because it is designed and proven for extreme desert conditions, Soltec’s trackers are an ideal tracking solution for the region’s harsh environment. SF7 is self-powered and provides the lowest cost of operational power with an autonomous power supply, requiring no additional PV module or grid-powered connection.

Besides, by eliminating array-gaps on the tracker at all pile mounting locations, SF7 achieves complete tracker module fill that enables greater yield. By reducing parts count and installation labor, SF7 also achieves a lower installed first-cost. The net result is a greater benefit/cost ratio that defines Soltec’s principal innovation criteria to increase tracker cost-effectiveness.

Other key features of SF7 that customers value highly include: fewest piles-per-MW, greatest installation tolerances on steep-slope and irregular land, and the greater site-fill options of a short tracker that mounts twice the modules per independent-row tracker length.

In 2015, Soltec manufactured the first tracker specifically designed to mount bifacial panels at a power plant in La Silla observatory, Chile. “This plant is unique, not only because of powering an astronomical observatory. It was the first utility plant with bifacial modules,” said Raúl Morales, CEO of Soltec.

The standard two-up portrait module tracker configuration designed by Soltec eliminates the terminal problem of a one-up configuration and the torque tube imposing constant shading on the backside PV active-area. “R&D has always been Soltec’s cornerstone. Soltec pioneered in bifacial tracking but now we are commercializing a mature standard product with innovation within cost-effectiveness criteria,” said Morales.

Soltec’s global operations and workforce of over 750 people blend experience with innovation. The company has manufacturing facilities in Argentina, Brazil, China, and Spain, as well as offices in Australia, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Peru, and the United States. With a strong commitment to renewable energy and the environment, the company is dedicated to innovation, product standardization, and customer success.

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Array Technologies is continuing to grow business at a steadfast pace. The company entered the Australian market just 18 months ago, and has since been awarded 15 projects exceeding 1 GW of installed capacity, making it the fastest tracker supplier to reach the milestone in the Australian marketplace. GTM Research released its annual tracker report noting the company has taken an impressive 55 percent market share in Australia.

Australia is one of the most promising solar markets globally for solar tracker deployment. The Australian Photovoltaic Institute estimates that a pipeline of around 35 GW of utility scale solar PV projects are in various stages of development. On the back of this, the growth in the demand for solar trackers is unparalleled: 83 percent of utility scale projects currently being installed in the country are deploying solar tracking technology.

The 15 projects in which Array is currently involved cover a wide range of climactic zones, each bringing with it unique installation and design challenges. Seven of the 15 projects Array is currently supplying are in Queensland, five in New South Wales, two in Victoria, and one in Western Australia. One particular project highlight is the 148 MW Ross River project in Northern Queensland. The utility-scale project is located 16 km north of Townsville, in an area classified as Wind Region C – making it prone to tropical cyclones.

The Array DuraTrack HZ v3 can withstand both the sustained high winds and extreme wind gusts, even exceeding 200 km/h, in the event of a Tropical Cyclone. It has attained AS 11.70 certification for Wind Region C operation. Additionally, its passive wind mitigation system vastly reduces the risk of failure in the event of high winds.

Alongside its robust design and operation, Array Technologies says its success in Australia is due to its architecture being particularly well suited to the Australian solar market. In comparison with other solar tracker architectures, the DuraTrack HZ v3 has 150 times fewer components, resulting in a massive reduction of potential failure points, and vastly lower operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. Secondly, its simple design architecture makes it the fastest tracker to install, creating significant cost savings for installation.

Array anticipates continuing to grow its market share in Australia, with newly expanded offices, on-the-ground engineering, logistics support, and a substantial pipeline for 2019.

Source: Array Technologies

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Soltec, a leading manufacturer of solar trackers, is launching the Solteach Pro training program, aimed at solar industry companies and workers specifically regarding PV tracker application in large projects. Solteach Pro is imparted by Soltec’s highly experienced engineers and project managers to train and certify individuals or companies in the optimal application of the unique SF7 Single-Axis Tracker, from plant design to commissioning. Specifically, the Solteach Pro program is aimed at companies (subcontractors or customers) as well as workers, whether they are engineers, supervisors or assemblers.

SF7 is the ideal solar tracker for large-scale PV tracking projects with its features of high yield-gain performance and agile application. SF7 has incorporated a screwless and tool-free module installation which requires zero maintenance. SF7 reduces the number of parts, resulting in faster, easier and more efficient installation. Those features combined with extreme supply and service performance have driven Soltec and SF7 to the top-tier globally.

The Solteach Pro one-day program is structured with general content and two specific parts: Solteach Professional and Solteach Projects. Solteach Professional is designed to impart supply and installation skills with factory hands-on or online training where participants will learn best-practices in project supply and tracker installation to best leverage the Soltec offer. The contents of this training include factory service packages, construction planning, installation steps and commissioning of the plant.

On the other hand, Solteach Projects is focused on engineering application with Soltec’s dynamic PV plant design training and the objective to leverage SF7 Single-Axis Tracker features of yield-density and agile application. The contents of this training are: characteristics and advantages of the SF7, SF7 configurations, subfield design and plant design with AutoCAD.

Soltec CEO Raul Morales said, “Solteach Pro helps customers get the most out Soltec’s complete offer of a remarkable product and team dedication to finding success amongst challenges.

Solteach Pro complements Soltec’s Onsite Services. Those services include advisory, logistics, commissioning, and regionally available installation and O&M contracting.

The Onsite Advisory Plan service is cost-effective for many of Soltec’s customers. Onsite Soltec staff guide customers’ team through the details of logistics, site-work, and equipment installation in construction, leaving field team the additional scope of supervision, execution, and management. Onsite Advisory services combine strengths between project partners to reduce costs.
Soltec is prepared to take additional supervisory and task-scope across the range of Soltec Service Plans that standardize customer experience options.

Soltec’s Pull Testing Service is not common amongst tracker suppliers but has become the usual choice of Soltec customers to most simply reduce investment risk and conform with due diligence criteria in the pre-construction phase.

Soltec’s global operations and workforce of over 750 people blend experience with innovation. The company has manufacturing facilities in Argentina, Brazil, China, and Spain, as well as offices in Australia, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Peru, and the United States. With a strong commitment to renewable energy and the environment, the company is dedicated to innovation, product standardization, and customer success.

Source: Soltec

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1x trackers miss out on part of reflected light according to preliminary measurements taken at Soltec’s Bifacial Tracking Evaluation Center (BiTEC)

Soltec is performing field tests at BiTEC, world’s first evaluation center specialized in bifacial trackers. Among those tests, the company is comparing bifacial production of 1x configuration solar trackers versus Soltec’s SF7 Bifacial, a 2x configuration tracker.

Soltec’s SF7 trackers have a standard height of 7.71 ft (2.35 m), while 1x-configuration trackers have a height of 4.43 ft (1.35 m). Preliminary electric performance measures over bifacial modules reveal a short-circuit current difference of over 2.3 percent between 1x and 2x trackers, meaning that height has a significant influence over the energy output of bifacial panels. The capture of diffuse irradiance below and around the tracker is increased with height, while the shadow casted on the ground is softened.

In addition, SF7 includes an intentional gap between modules at the torque tube location that avoids shadowing on the backside of the module. With 1x trackers, on the contrary, the torque tube casts a shadow regardless of whether it has a round shape or quadrangular. Preliminary measurements have shown that up to 38 percent of reflected light does not reach the center of the bifacial modules compared to the edge due to the torque tube shadow of the 1x configuration.

BiTEC will be officially inaugurated on July 9 in Livermore, California. This center counts on the collaboration of the main of bifacial modules manufacturers and American organizations specialized in renewable energy such as NREL or RETC.

Soltec history with bifacial tracking dates to 2015 when a customer needed a test-bed for utility-scale bifacial tracking. Soltec responded with La Silla solar power plant in Coquimbo, Chile. The power plant is comprised of Soltec trackers with 2x configuration and has exhibited 14.9 percent of gain over monofacial tracking with a bifacial ratio above 17 percent.

Source: Soltec

The use of solar trackers in utility-scale PV projects is growing rapidly around the world. According to the GTM Research report “Global Solar PV Tracker Market Shares and Shipments 2018”, tracker shipments grew by 44% globally in 2017. GTM also found that Latin American countries were the largest markets for solar trackers, followed by the US. Indeed, GTM expects 80-90% of all utility-scale PV projects deployed in Latin America this year to use tracker systems. Independent consultancy TÜV Rheinland PTL has recently published a report, commissioned by solar tracker manufacturer Array Technologies, on the economic and risk analysis of the two main tracker architectures (centralised and decentralised). This article sets out the main conclusions of this report, and their significance for Latin America due to the extensive range of climatic challenges facing trackers in this region.

It has been proven that solar trackers increase the utility-scale production of PV energy. Moreover, the economic benefits of using a solar tracking system is greater in areas of high irradiation, which correspond to rapidly growing PV markets, such as Latin America, the MENA and APAC regions, where solar trackers are increasing their market share in large plants over fixed tilt mounting systems.

While a variety of solar trackers are available, two predominate: centrally driven architecture (centralised) and individual row driven architecture (decentralised). A centralised architecture involves a system driven by a single motor linked by a rotating driveline to multiple tracker rows. In a decentralised architecture, each row operates as a self-contained unit.
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Article published in: FuturENERGY May 2018

Soltec, manufacturer and supplier of single-axis solar trackers and related services in large ground-mount PV projects, is supplying 2,776 units of its SF7 tracker equipment at an 86.2 MW PV power plant in northern Colombia’s Cesar department.

The SF7 trackers will mount around 250,000 PV modules to follow the sun and optimize their yield performance. The plant will generate an average of 176 GWh of clean energy per year, becoming the largest solar power plant in Colombia. The PV plant is currently under construction and will be operational by the end of 2018.

Currently, Colombia’s energy generation depends enormously on hydroelectric power plants, which in drought season can be a real problem. This can be easily solved by complementing with solar energy that will also contribute to reducing electricity price,” says Raúl Morales, CEO of Soltec.

With this project, Soltec continues strengthening its position in the Latin American tracker market, summing to more than 2 GW of solar trackers supplied in the region. “Soltec is on-track with global and regional expansion plans, and our results in Latin America are especially gratifying,” adds Morales.

The Cesar PV power plant will count on wireless communications and a patented self-powering tracker solution. “This self-powering solution enables complete tracker module-fill and supplies the lowest cost operational power available onsite and independently at each tracker,” informs Soltec’s R&D Manager José Alfonso Teruel.

Source: Soltec

Soltec will supply and install 3,019 units of its SF7solar tracker at two PV power plants in Mexico. With these projects, Soltec strengthens its position in the Latin American market breaking through to more than 2 GW of solar trackers supplied there.

The power plants are located in the regions of Guanajuato and Aguascalientes in Mexico, and count on a power capacity of 22 MW and 68 MW respectively. They are to be installed by the end of 2018.
These two projects in Latin America build on Soltec’s successful track-record there,” said Soltec CEO Raúl Morales. “Our solar trackers enable higher yield and greater site-filling options, and reduce material and labor, all combining to achieve the highest grade of customer success.

The Guanajuato and Aguascalientes PV power plants will count on wireless communications and a patented self-powering solution that enables complete tracker module-fill and supplies the lowest cost operational power available onsite and independently at each tracker.

Meeting the tight supply deadlines is a challenge that Soltec is prepared for with our warehousing and logistics system Solhub,” affirmed Fernando Sánchez, Soltec’s VP of Sales LATAM. “Solhub delivers unitized tracker components packaging onsite just-in-time and prepared for minimal additional onsite material handling.”

Source: Soltec

Soltec is opening a new research and evaluation center in the city of Livermore, California, where the company has its U. S. headquarters. Soltec is leveraging its expertise and standard product compatibility with bifacial tracking that stems from the 2015 landmark test-bed success of utility-scale bifacial tracking at La Silla, high in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

The mission of Soltec’s Bifacial Tracking Evaluation Center (BiTEC) is to perform rigorous assessment of installation and control parameter influences on bifacial tracking performance compared to other bifacial PV applications. Soltec is investigating some specific factors that are known to influence production, such as module mounting height above grade, rear-side obstructions that cause shading and losses, and varying inter-row spacing distances to measure the effect on albedo.

Some variables, such as diffuse irradiance or module mounting height, which are often considered of minor importance in standard module applications, can have a much more significant influence in bifacial applications in order to maximize yield,” says Javier Guerrero Ph.D., Soltec’s R&D Manager USA, who oversees the BiTEC project. “With BiTEC, we aim to quantify bifacial yield-gain opportunities that our standard product enables uniquely, and furthermore optimize a bifacial tracking algorithm via comprehensive tracker positioning control to make the most of those opportunities.

Soltec and BiTEC count on the collaboration of the U. S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to assist primarily in the application of simulation models. Soltec is also collaborating with Engineering powerhouse Black & Veatch and world renown Certification and Bankability Laboratory, The Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC), to utilize the BiTEC resources in their joint Bifacial Characterization and Ranking Initiative in order to assess the performance gains and validate the performance models on bifacial modules from global module manufacturers.

We endorse collaborative learning and knowledge sharing with the goal of increasing the success of our customers with our agile and yield-dense tracker application. Soltec is receptive to partnering with PV industry entities to take advantage of the BiTEC installation whereby those entities will not need to set up their own bifacial testbeds,” announced Soltec CEO Raúl Morales.

Source: Soltec

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Soltec supplies solar trackers to project development leader, Cypress Creek Renewables

Soltec, leading manufacturer and supplier of solar tracker equipment and related services, is supplying 28 MW of single-axis solar trackers for a solar plant in the municipal district of Estill, in the US state of South Carolina.

The project is situated in a region with a sub-tropical climate where strong winds are commonplace. To address local weather conditions, Soltec’s R&D team has optimised the control electronics and developed adequate foundation pillars to keep the trackers stable during strong gusts of wind.

With these improved features, our trackers are ready to achieve optimum production levels even during the hurricane season from June to November. Soltec has often demonstrated that it is the ideal solar tracking solution for projects that present huge challenges, as in this case”, confirms José Alfonso Teruel, head of R&D at Soltec. “Our high-speed motor moves the PV panels from a maximum tilt of 60 degrees to a completely horizontal position in under three minutes for better wind resistance”.

Soltec has signed a framework supply contract with Cypress Creek Renewables and we are committed to helping them achieve project success so that they become a repeat client for us”, states Raúl Morales, CEO of Soltec. “Our best guarantee is Soltec’s proven ability to comply with project criteria in terms of time frames, costs and quality”.

Founded in 2014, Cypress Creek develops, constructs, finances and operates solar generation assets in the US. Thanks to a combination of organic growth and the acquisition of corporate and strategic projects, Cypress Creek is currently one of the leading solar companies in the country with 1 GW of installations operational in 8 States.

Soltec takes part in ANCES Open Innovation

Soltec is also continuing in its commitment to research. Company representatives attended the closing event of ANCES Open Innovation last 19 April, an initiative from the Spanish National Association of European Business and Innovation Centres. Soltec, together with a further twelve consolidated companies, have developed a pioneering programme to attract young and innovative companies to the market.

The challenge proposed by Soltec comprised the development of a wireless current sensor with radio communication able to measure a constant current of up to 100 A. The finalists chosen by Soltec were start-ups: Byprox from Murcia; Wireless Innovation from Valencia; and Alteria Automation from Madrid, the eventual winner.

Apart from Soltec, other companies that also submitted challenges included BBVA, Estrella de Levante, Euskaltel, Iberostar and Sacyr.

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 Argentina, 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.

Source: Soltec