Array Technologies, a manufacturer of ground-mounted systems used in solar energy projects, has created the Array Tech Research Center, a site dedicated to researching, developing and field testing solar tracker technology.
Located in Phoenix, Ariz., the center will serve as a proving ground where customers can explore product prototypes that address common utility-scale solar challenges including foundation costs, site grading requirements, large module compatibility and installation time. Array’s engineers will use the facility to demonstrate how developers and EPCs can overcome these challenges using new technology developed by the company.
“Array is making significant investments in new product development this year,” says Jim Fusaro, CEO of Array Technologies. “The research center is part of that investment and will allow us to work more closely with our customers on the development of new technology. Having a proving ground where we can demonstrate new means and methods for installing trackers to customers will help us accelerate the adoption of our technology.”
Some of the innovations that Array says it will be showcasing at the research center include:
-Extended row configurations – The new DuraTrack HZ v3 extended row configuration increases the length of a tracker row by as much as 33%. Higher power density reduces the number of components required per megawatt which lowers cost per watt and results in lower LCOE
-New optimized foundation tracker systems – Foundations are a significant contributor to the total installed cost of a tracker system. Array is developing a new tracker that requires fewer posts per megawatt, significantly reducing the number of labor and machine hours required to install the system
-Toolless module mounting technology – A utility-scale solar project can have over a million solar modules and mounting them to the tracker system is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process. Building on the company’s single-bolt module clamp, Array is exploring both toolless and no-bolt attachment systems that will enable modules to be installed faster, safer and more efficiently than current installation methods allow
The company notes customers and partners are encouraged to contact their Array customer service representative if interested in scheduling a tour of the Array Tech Research Center.