Solar tracking system for photovoltaic power plants

Paul Boughton
Enerqos plc, a photovoltaic system and solar power plant construction company, and ESP, active in the design and construction of metal structures for the photovoltaic sector, will be showcasing their new Solar Totem tracker at the PVTech 2008 exhibition, which will take place in Milan from 25th-28th November. 

With dual-axis handling and a remote control operating system, the Solar Totem is claimed tio be one of the most advanced tracking systems available and will be presented to show attendees on the Enerqos stand.

“We wanted to offer a unique alternative to existing market solutions,” stated Fabrizio Piomboni, Director of ESP. “Our Solar Totem tracker was designed to meet the demands of a System Integrator like Enerqos, and it has enabled us to make considerable improvements, both on an installation level as well as a structural one,” he added.   

“The most significant of these improvements is that every single Totem is managed by a PLC (programmable logic controller) and is therefore completely autonomous. The tracker is operated by remote control, and is connected to the Internet. Therefore, automatic updates can be acquired and maintenance can be performed remotely including modification of the operating programme,” continued Piomboni.

 The tracker also features a real time ‘solar” clock, enabling optimal positioning of both the azimuth/horizontal and tilt axes. Using this method makes it possible to track the sun’s movement across the sky, to ensure that the concentrated sunlight is directed to the panels,” he explained.

After a test phase carried out in the ESP laboratory, one of the photovoltaic power plants currently being constructed by Enerqos served as a “real-life” field testing site. “This allowed us to check and substantiate the consistency and quality of the product and to verify that it is able to deliver on its promises,” said Stefano Goracci, VP of Operations, Enerqos.

“As soon as it is mounted, the Solar Totem presents conclusive advantages, thanks to its ground anchor system which has beaten all previous records. We will certainly continue to use it in our forthcoming power plant installation projects throughout Europe,” he added.

Solar Totem tracker characteristics include:

The tracker flat-plate is not continuous, but divided by intersections at regular intervals, giving it a segmented structure. Therefore, any strain on the flat-plate caused by the weight of the panels is absorbed and the structure itself is protected from the effects of wind, preventing the photovoltaic panels becoming cracked or displaced.

The Solar Totem tracker is flexible, which means that several different implantation techniques are possible. Therefore, in accordance with requirements (speed of execution, cost efficiency, minimum standards of ground resistance), an alternative procedure can be used, while the basic characteristics of the Solar Totem remain intact and maintain the coherence of the photovoltaic power plant to which it is linked.

For more information, visit www.enerqos.com

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