PVHardware LLC (PVH)

- Model 2.0 - Single Axis Trackers

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The Axone Single-Axis Tracker was designed to be durable, low-maintenance, and easy to build in the field. The optimized single module in portrait row configuration keeps material costs low as forces are minimized compared to other trackers with larger surface area wings. Engineering on the generous 21kg/ module (less foundations) hot dip galvanized steel sub-structure is based on the code prescribed velocities of ASCE 7-05 and does not factor ultra-light wind tunnel pressures. This approach to design enables the baseline product to meet IBC 90mph (3-second gust) at full 45 degree tilt without relying on the built-in stow feature. Perimeter wind shield torque tubes also enable higher energy production and steadier uptime at typical sites that regularly experience 30-40mph wind loads.

For today’s utility-scale solar PV park, single-axis trackers are an obvious choice, optimizing daily solar power generation and enhancing the investment’s return on investment. PVH’s trackers are simple, easy-to-build, and cost effective to operate. Depending on the characteristics of each project, PVH has a solution to meet our clients’ needs.

Design Approach

Bolted splice connections provide generous construction tolerances while also eliminating the need for field welding. With a linear, pendulum style driveline and just 2 to 3 centrally located motors per MWp to lubricate, annual motor operation and maintenance costs are virtually eliminated. Pre-assembled articulating gimbal post head assemblies with self-lubricating, UV protected UHMWPE bearings allow for grade and foundation plumb tolerance, as well as long term serviceability. Direct module attachment to rigid steel panel rails eliminate vibratory/thermal expansion and over-torqueing risks associated with aluminum sandwich clamps.

The Axone 2.0 is a Horizontal Single-Axis Tracker that tracks the sun from east to west throughout the day, increasing solar generation compared to fixed-tilt racking solutions.

As a paragon of simplicity, the Axone 2.0 tracker has been designed to be easily installed, requiring very little maintenance during the operation and maintenance phase.

The Axone 2.0 is based on a centralized motor with pushbar architecture, allowing for trackers of up to 36 rows, with 32 rows considered to be optimal.

Designed to be a solution for the global marketplace, various engineering approaches are undertaken in order to comply with the local codes of each project.

  • In the USA and other related countries, PVH has applied a conservative engineering approach, based on ASCE 7-05/10, including the use of wind tunnel data to improve the tracker.
  • In European and related countries, PVH uses the Eurocode standard to certify the tracker, and has used a wind tunnel analysis also to verify the theoretical results. CFD is also used to analyse structure behavior under loads.
  • In South Africa, the standards adhere to SANS 10160 and AS 4100.
  • For Australia, the structural standards are AS/NZS 1170 and AS 4100, respectively.

This approach has enabled the Axone 2.0 to be certified in several countries which represents a distinct competitive advantage.

This Axone 2.0 uses an astronomical  algorithm, which has been implemented into the Siemens solar tracking control library available for the controller’s program logic controller (PLC).  The off-the-shelf PLC is sourced from Siemens, which is one of the components of the control unit are located inside the control box, affixed to the motor and drive unit of each tracker.   All the connections to the box are done by the down side of it by means of dummy proofing connections. Therefore, installing them on field is very simple and fast, which makes commissioning easy.  A backtracking algorithm is implemented in the control system of the Axone 2.0 in order to avoid self-shading of the trackers during the first and last hours of the day.

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