Solar Builder

JUL-AUG 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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SOLARBUILDERMAG.COM | 39 A lthough the U.S. arm of Schletter filed for bankruptcy, the Germany-based headquarters is still chugging along. At this year's Intersolar Europe, Schletter Group presented its new tracking system. Hardware The core feature of the new Schletter tracker is that it combines the stability of a fixed mounting system with the additional yields of a tracking system. This is achieved by the drive concept: While most other tracking systems use hydraulic dampers or similar sup- porting structures to mitigate the vibrations and torsional forces caused by the wind, this Schletter system features a drive system with a self-locking mechanism. Each post locks as soon as the row has stopped moving. This newly-developed and soon to be patented drive system fully eliminates vibrations over the entire row which can be caused by wind. Therefore the system, while at rest, has the properties and durability of a fixed mounting system and is designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 161 mph. It thus com- pletely avoids the dangerous galloping effect. The second feature that stands out is its efficiency, achieved through its large wing-span and ground cover ratio. Each row can be up to 393-ft long and is driven by one centrally located motor. At 13 ft in width, each row is wide enough to hold either two panels oriented vertically or four horizontally, thus up to 574 sq yds of solar array can be installed per row and motor. This allows operators to make optimal use of the available land and a ground cover ratio of more than 50 percent can be achieved. Software The tracker has a rotational range of 60 degrees and is controlled through wireless technology, which completely obviates expensive wiring for both power supply and communication. The motor and the control systems are selfpowered by a dedicated PV panel in each row with a battery pack. To make O&M easier, mechanical connec- tions between the rows have been deliberately avoided. This allows unhampered vehicle access between the rows, for instance during servicing and maintenance work. Schletter New tracker product with self-locking mechanism now available Intersolar Preview Speaking of Soltec... During Intersolar this year, Soltec is opening a new research and evaluation center in the city of Livermore, Calif., where the company has its U.S. headquarters. The mission of Soltec's Bifacial Tracking Evaluation Center (BiTEC) is to perform rigorous assessment of installation and control parameter influences on bifacial tracking perfor- mance 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. Visit us at Intersolar Booth # 9215 415-648-1299 www.sollega.com info@sollega.com

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