• The single-axis azimuth trackers from MECASOLAR have been adapted to the low-concentration modules from American firm SOLARIA that will be used in the 1MW solar facility in the Sardinian location of Villacidro.
• The new solar facility, developed by Euroenergy S.p.A., is expected to start operating in December.
16 October 2012. MECASOLAR – a multinational company that designs, manufactures and supplies solar trackers, fixed structures and foundation screws –, has reached an agreement to deliver 74 single-axis azimuth solar trackers (MS-1E TRACKER 15) to a new solar PV facility in Villacidro, on the Italian island of Sardinia.
At MECASOLAR, a company of the OPDE Group, they highlight the importance of this project in Italy. The solar trackers were adapted to meet the strictest international standards for low-concentration CPV systems.
The technology to be supplied by MECASOLAR to the new 1MW installation developed by Euroenergy S.p.A. was adapted to the low-concentration modules from US-based SOLARIA, made of more efficient crystalline silicon PV cells, specially designed in tempered glass along with other safe materials. Besides, the SOLARIA solar panels are frameless.
The technology underlying these modules was specially designed for solar trackers like MECASOLAR’s, which optimise the performance of the solar installation. In addition, the patented cell multiplication technology pioneered by Solaria reduces silicon cell material by half – enabling lower cost at equivalent energy output in tracking applications.
Single-axis azimuth tracker features
The design of the panel mounting system makes MECASOLAR trackers highly flexible when it comes to assembling panels from different manufacturers. Depending on the type of module, the highest accepted power is 15.36kWp.
On the MS-1E TRACKER, the polar axis can be manually adjusted, adapting to the different seasons for optimal production. The angle of the traditional single-axis azimuth tracker can be tilted between 20º and 35º on the horizontal plane, thus increasing production by an additional 5% over the traditional single-axis azimuth tracker.
Besides, the surface area covered by the MS-1E TRACKER is very similar to that occupied by traditional non-seasonal single-axis azimuth solar trackers. ‘This results in greater return on investment,’ MECASOLAR sources say.
In addition, motor consumption with MECASOLAR trackers is very low (40kWh/year), which ‘means reduced maintenance service,’ they add. Moreover, MECASOLAR trackers are easily installed, which reduces both labour costs and the time spent on construction work.
The seasonal single-axis azimuth tracker connects to a weather station so that the PLC, with an algorithm of its own, provides protection from wind.
All MECASOLAR trackers have an independent programmable logic controller (PLC) that helps the tracker move to follow the position of the sun and adapt to changing weather conditions, and enables the user to perform remote operations.
MECASOLAR specialises in the design, manufacture and supply of single- and dual-axis solar trackers, ground-mounted fixed structures and foundation screws for PV solar facilities, and roof-mounted fixed structures. It has manufacturing plants in Spain, Greece, Canada and USA.
In June, MECASOLAR launched a new 140kWp horizontal single-axis tracker. Designed and supplied by the company, the new solar tracker’s modular, low-height structure results in simple assembly that does not require cranes or lifting equipment, thus saving time in the installation. The assembly of this tracker is faster than that of a fixed mount system; what is more, it can increase power output by 30%, depending on the latitude of the installation,thanks to the horizontal tracking function.
In addition, the low height (50cm) means lower environmental impact and little construction work because the pillar section is small. The simple modular design of the axes allows for perfect adaptability to different types of ground and dimensions. Besides, the system requires almost no maintenance, and consumption is very low (motor consumption: 165kWh/year).
All MECASOLAR devices use cutting-edge technology. The dual-axis trackers can increase solar PV energy generation by over 35% as compared to fixed installations. As to the single-axis azimuth trackers, they improve output by 28% as compared to fixed structures and need a comparatively small space — 2.51 ha/MW (6.2 acres/MW). The company also manufactures fixed structures that can adapt to all kinds of surfaces and power. Together with the universal foundation screw MECASCREW, they provide customers with a global solution.
The MECASOLAR single-axis POLAR tracker, launched in December 2011, has a capacity of 114.4kWp, improving PR and reducing investment per Wp, thus increasing the profitability of installations.//