Tracking efficiency

Array Technologies has been in the solar tracking business for a couple decades. And using GPS systems for solar tracking is nothing new.

Array Technologies has been in the solar tracking business for a couple decades. And using GPS systems for solar tracking is nothing new. GPS itself is now an ancient tech dating back to 1993. Hell, it's older than even the public-access Internet. GPS itself is a government-provided service.

What Array is now doing, with their hardware and systems partner, Suntech, is provide low cost, flexible, easy to install tracking systems for utility sized solar farms. I recently spoke with Array's CEO, Ron Corio. He sees the coming months as very positive for Array and Suntech. Array's worked with utilities in Spain and South Korea and now has their first American project done for SunEdison in Colorado. He says the credit crunch caused some projects to be delayed or cancelled but he sees work now moving forward. That's regardless of what happens politically.

Corio says the Suntech/Array system is deigned to minimize capital costs, long-term maintenance and greatly reduced the amount of gear and material needed to make a solar farm far more efficient than a fixed set of panels. What Array provides: a set of glavanized steel and anodized aluminum parts and gears driven by their own software and GPS data. The rows of panels are installed running north-south. The Array gear then tilts each panel row toward the east or west as the sun moves acorss the sky daily. Array makes their system literally flexible so it can deal with the highest possible winds and not transmit that force to the panel rows. In addition the system is adapted to rough terrain. So it will work outside of Iowa.

The design keeps the center of gravity low for the panel rows, reducing material costs. Each rotor motor can operate on its own in case part of the solar farm needs work. The Array software runs on Programmable Logic Computers and, of course, is Internet-linked so the whole system can be monitored and run remotely.

Array, BTW, gets all its material and parts in the U.S. Here's Array's website. Here's Suntech's website.

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