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This project is working to optimize Nevados’ horizontal single-axis tracker design for full-scale manufacturing. The technology, which was developed through an award under the first Technology to Market funding program, helps solar developers build commercial solar projects on lands that are raised and uneven and would typically not be considered for solar development. This creates more site options and eliminates major construction costs. This project will update the product design in an effort to find cost-cutting opportunities and further testing will be conducted to demonstrate the reliability and robustness of the single axis tracker design.
The project team is investigating the use of high-volume manufacturing processes such as casting, pressing, punching, and forming to develop parts for the system, which will reduce costs compared to the current machining processes using plate steel and steel channel. The team will also develop a block controller, row controller, current sensor, and software, which will be tested at a demonstration site for functionality.
This project will allow a single-axis tracker system to be validated for commercial sale and distribution, reducing the costs of developing a solar site. Software developed for the system will include automatic tilt correction to optimize power generation, a graphical and customer-friendly user interface, embedded system programming improvements in the row and block controllers to improve accuracy, and optimized wireless communications. These enhancements will remove roadblocks to increased solar development.