SPI Preview: Track down these new solar tracker options

sunlink distributed tracker

SunLink’s new TechTrack

Trackers aren’t quite the niche product they used to be, only provided by a handful of manufacturers. There are some new players in the space with new solutions, and some of the old standbys continue to improve on their offering and pricing.

SunLink’s (booth 2037) new TechTrack Distributed single-axis tracker reacts intelligently to real-time conditions to increase generation and reduce the risk of harm to the power plant. Dynamic stabilization provides damping when unlocked, secures the structure during critical events and dramatically increases system natural frequency. In addition, by reducing the maximum torque in the system by 67 percent, the system is stronger, lighter and more cost-effective than other trackers. Continuous tables and 120-degree tracking yield the industry’s best power density and generation. More on this one here.


GameChange Solar

Genius Tracker from GameChange Solar (booth 1939) provides one of the fastest install times out there (a 10-person crew installs 1.7-MW trackers and panels per week). Its linear actuator drive system has a 40-year operating life and is IP 66 rated for operation in harsh environmental conditions. Every drive actuator has its own battery backup and wirelessly linked controllers, eliminating all trenching and Tru3D-Gimbal bearings account for pile installation being out of plumb, out of azimuth and out of vertical and east-west alignment. More on this one here.



NEXTracker (booth 1123) has two solutions on display. With independent rows and high slope tolerance, fewer foundations and assembly points, the NX Horizon minimizes geotechnical risk while accelerating project construction schedules. Self-grounding and self-powered technology provides cost savings and speedy construction; a 120-degree rotational range maximizes energy production. The NX Fusion is a complete, repeatable tracker power block that incorporates the NX Horizon tracker, advanced string inverter, high power PV modules, DC wire harness, UPS, piers and a sophisticated monitoring and control system. More on NEXTracker here.

Spanish company Grupo Clavijo (booth 2560) will once again be attending SPI with its latest generation of advanced single-axis trackers — the SP160 (single-row) and SP1000 (multi-row) models. New to the lineup is a spherical bearing, which the company says will lead to a faster assembly time (as it is made up of fewer pieces), and has the capacity to absorb a working angle greater than 60 degrees with structural systems that reduce the center of mass and decrease the consumption required for movement and greater stress resistance.

ATI DuraTrack HZ

ATI DuraTrack HZ

The DuraTrack HZ v3 from Array Technologies Inc. (booth 2805) provides a low overall cost thanks to a streamlined design that is easy to install. Undulating terrain? Take advantage of flexible tolerances that permit up to 40-degree off-set in the east-west direction and 15 percent slope in the north-south plane. The DuraTrack HZ v3 is engineered for long-term durability with only 180 electromechanical components per 100 MW, compared to alternative systems that have up to 30,000. The tracker requires no scheduled maintenance and has a field-proven uptime of 99.99 percent.

ExoSun ExoTrack HZ

Exosun’s (booth 3013) single-axis solar tracker, Exotrack HZ v2, comes in at an installation rate of 200 man-hours per MW for mechanical installation. No machines are needed to assemble the structure’s few and lightweight parts on site, reducing installation time. Thanks to its short rows, the system accepts high land irregularities, even between piles. Exotrack HZ v2 smoothly follows flowing topography without land grading, and its linked-row architecture and grease-free, balanced structure adds reliability.


— Solar Builder magazine

New Mexico, Affordable Solar bring 24-MW of solar to replace coal-fired systems

ATI new mexico solar tracker

Solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm Affordable Solar, has partnered with Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) to bring clean solar energy to thousands of New Mexicans in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas. Industry pioneers Affordable Solar and ATI are both locally owned and operate out of Albuquerque.

The Santa Fe Solar Energy Center and Santolina Solar Energy Center, roughly 12 MW (dc) each, haven recently been completed near Santa Fe and Albuquerque respectively. The projects’ 78,000+ Jinko modules mounted on ATI’s DuraTrack HZ v3 single-axis trackers will provide reliable power to the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM).

The projects were developed by PNM as part of the replacement plan for closing two coal fired units at San Juan Generating Station and also to respond to state-mandated Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). The declining cost of solar energy, combined with solar’s ability to provide energy at peak demand times, is driving utility adoption of solar plants to meet RPS requirements across the nation. Solar trackers enhance peak power generation by broadening daily production curves, delivering smooth energy to the grid well into the late afternoon and early evening.


— Solar Builder magazine

ATI completes 75-MW solar tracking site in Arizona


Array TechnologiesArray Technologies, Inc. (ATI) just completed a huge tracking system as part of a 71 MW AC project, called Red Horse 2, which combines wind and solar is expected to provide power for 13,500 Arizona homes. The plant generates energy from Vestas V110 wind turbines and 75 MW DC of Jinko solar modules, whose power output is optimized by Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ single-axis trackers. The Red Horse 2 project is one of the first combined wind and solar sites in the country.

Built by veteran engineering, procurement and construction company (EPC) Swinerton Renewable Energy, the project’s construction was completed ahead of schedule with the solar plant, including trackers, built and commissioned in only 35 weeks. With commissioning activities completed, the site is now fully operational and has reached its commercial operation date (COD).

RELATED: Live at SPI: ATI explains its new DuraTrack HZ v3 

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will buy the energy generated by the site under a 20-year power purchase agreement, with Swinerton responsible for site operations and maintenance. An affiliate of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, L.L.C. (DESRI) acquired and financed the project in August 2014.

“We are pleased to partner with Swinerton Renewable Energy to deliver the solar industry’s lowest levelized cost of electricity. Our partnership is focused on providing the highest power plant value to DESRI and other like-minded companies who drive the growth of solar across the country,” said Thomas Conroy, president of ATI. “The wind and tracked solar Red Horse 2 project combines wind’s ultra-low generation cost with tracked solar’s lowest cost peaking generation option. Since the wind and tracked solar seasonal and hourly output profiles are largely complementary, the variability of each resource is mitigated while providing low cost new generation capacity to Tucson Electric Power.”

— Solar Builder magazine

DC optimizer advocates: HDPV Alliance adds 14 big names to member ranks

HDPV Alliance

Have you head of the HDPV Alliance? It is an industry-wide alliance focused on lowering the cost and increasing the performance of PV solar systems — an alliance that just got a little bigger. HDPV announced the addition of 14 new members including: Arctech Solar, Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI), Bender, Bentek, China Sunergy, ConnectPV, Folsom Labs, GameChange Racking, GS Battery, Littelfuse, Schletter, Stion Corporation, Tabuchi Electric and Waaree.

These new members join Alliance founders Ampt, Bonfiglioli, KACO new energy and LTI ReEnergy to expand HDPV membership to over 30 companies from around the globe.

HDPV, or High Definition PV, refers to PV system designs that use DC optimizers to achieve greater system power management capability while lowering the total system costs on day one. Alliance members collaborate through defined standards and shared best practices to make lower cost and higher performing systems widely available to the industry.

“We are pleased to welcome our new members and look forward to working with them to serve our mutual customers,” said Mark Kanjorski, HDPV Alliance chair and director of marketing for Ampt. “With these new partners, HDPV members continue to work together to source projects, be more competitive within the industry, and provide customers with lower cost and higher performing PV systems.”

New HDPV Alliance members include:

Arctech Solar is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and solution providers of solar tracking and racking systems for utilities, commercial, industrial and residential projects. Since 2009, Artech Solar has over 6 GW of installations and hundreds of completed projects in more than 10 countries.

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) is a U.S.-based solar manufacturer of smart, cost-effective, reliable and robust solar tracking systems for utilities, corporations, small businesses and homeowners.

Bender has been a global leader in ground fault protection products for both grounded and ungrounded systems.

Bentek is a leader in engineered electromechanical and power distribution solutions for industrial applications, designing and manufacturing products such as cable harnesses, electrical combiner boxes, and custom OEM assemblies for the solar energy and semiconductor markets.

China Sunergy is a public company listed on the NASDAQ as CSUN. Founded in 2007, CSUN is a tier one manufacturer in China with 1.2 GW of solar cells and module production capacity.

ConnectPV is based in San Diego and delivers expertise and experience. ConnectPV brings over 10 years of solar PV industry experience in electrical balance of system products.

Folsom Labs develops HelioScope, an advanced PV system design tool that integrates system layout and performance modeling to simplify the process of engineering and selling solar projects.

GameChange Racking leads utility and large commercial solar racking with bankable quality, unmatched service and value pricing.

GS Battery is a leader in energy storage. GS batteries are manufactured to the highest standards and deliver high quality, long life and superior performance in a wide variety of mission-critical applications.

Littelfuse is a manufacturer of fuses and fuse holders specifically designed for the solar market. Understanding global codes and standards unique to the solar market, as well as product specifications required for the harsh environments, allows Littelfuse to provide a comprehensive range of circuit protection products.

Schletter is an internationally recognized manufacturer of solar mounting systems and design tools for residential, commercial and utility-scale PV applications. Schletter has globally designed, developed and produced solar mounting systems for more than 15 GW of installed module capacity on roofs and ground-mounted systems.

Stion is a leading manufacturer of high-efficiency thin-film solar modules. Stion is advancing the industry by dramatically improving the cost and performance of solar energy through superior manufacturing and R&D technology.

Tabuchi Electric is the world’s fifth largest solar inverter manufacturer. Globally diversified and listed on the NIKKEI, it has developed and manufactured state-of-the-art solar inverters for over 20 years.

Waaree Energies Ltd is the flagship company of Waaree Group, founded in 1989 with headquarters in Mumbai, India. It is a leading player in the solar energy space in India, as well as internationally. It has India’s largest solar PV module manufacturing capacity of 500 MW, being scaled up to 1000 MW by the end of 2015.

— Solar Builder magazine

Live at SPI: ATI explains its new DuraTrack HZ v3

Have you heard about the new DuraTrack HZ from Array Technologies Inc. (ATI)? If you haven’t, emerge from your cave and watch the video above. Denise Hugo, director of marketing for ATI, explains to us just who ATI is and what it is that they do best. And what they do best is best explained by the DuraTrack HZ v3, which does more with less, by eliminating components and providing the lowest levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) in the industry. From the highest module density in the business to zero scheduled maintenance, v3’s superior design is revolutionizing the way the world looks at solar tracking technology.

Oh, and don’t miss any of the other news emerging from this year’s SPI.

— Solar Builder magazine