Desert challenge for photovoltaic plants
PVH’s solution designed for extreme conditions
Solar plants are often located in areas with extreme weather and PV trackers must be designed accordingly. Axone has proven to be the ideal single-axis multi-row tracker for these harsh conditions, where electronics can deteriorate rapidly. A single motor moves up to 20 rows of 60 modules. This tracker requires an engine and a controller for every 350 to 400 kWp versus a single-row tracker that contains between 20 and 30 kWp.
Therefore, the number of motors, drives and electronics are reduced 10 to 15 times.
Reduced number of motors and actuators
High temperatures, up to 50°C in the shade, make the electronic components and their durability very vulnerable. Also, it is not possible to consider solutions with batteries due to the high replacement costs in a short time.
By reducing the number of these units by a factor of 15 and supply very robust ones, maintenance is substantially reduced while availability increases significantly..
Behavior against extreme and sudden wind speeds
In the desert, increases of wind speed may reach 25 m/sg unpredictably and it is not usual to take the tracker from 55 degrees to a stow position in less than 7 minutes.
Axone has proven to be able to withstand up to 30 m/sg in working position without suffering any damage.
Alarm against sandstorms
One of our priorities has been to anticipate meteorological events and to be able to foresee with time those situations, such as sandstorms, which can deteriorate the components.
The alarm allows reducing the abrasiveness of the sand, which also contributes to the deterioration of the PV modules and to position the tracker in stow position, with very little loss of production due to the low irradiation in those circumstances (300 w/m2).
Components resistant to extreme temperatures, abrasion and harshness
Most of our components of reduced thickness are manufactured with Magnelis which includes ArcelorMittal’s 25-year durability guarantee. The components treated with Magnelis are up to ten times more resistant to abrasion than traditional galvanized steel. In addition, we have minimized the maintenance needs of Axone, which makes it a tough, economical and durable tracker.
This solution substantially improves the ability to resist abrasion while the employed steel fights against the constant presence of dust and sand particles.
A constant cleaning procedure is required throughout the year to minimize the losses due to dirt on the modules
PVH has designed PV Cleaner, a water-free cleaning robot to act in those circumstances, with 4 hours of autonomy and interchangeable batteries, completely autonomous, with the ability to bridge the gap where the actuator is located and to jump between rows with a distance up to 60 cm.
Requiring a minimum workforce for cleaning labor, this robot performs the continuous cleaning on any type of module without causing any damage to them, even on frameless modules.
Keeping solar panels clean can improve the productivity of PV plants of any size by up to 5%, and is especially important in desert areas.