FTC Solar Inc., a provider of solar tracker systems, software and engineering services, has introduced Pioneer, a new one module in portrait (1P) solar tracker solution.
“Pioneer achieves a full 18-36 percent pile count reduction per MW vs. the current industry-leading solutions by volume, allowing customers to benefit from reduced labor and materials costs,” says Nagendra Cherukupalli, chief technology officer of FTC Solar. “And with a high-density design, Pioneer enables up to 5 percent greater energy output for the same site compared to the competition, among numerous other advantages.”
Pioneer’s proprietary and unique design can reduce piles/foundations by 18% or more, significantly reducing capital expenditure and potential costly rework from refusals. Its higher energy density means shorter row length enables more than 5% greater energy output for a given parcel of land. With fast assembly, the proprietary fast-module hang technology and fewer overall fasteners save time, greatly reducing person-hours per MW. The zero-degree stow allows for shorter pile embedment depth, with resulting material and labor cost savings. Pioneer accommodates ultra large format modules with 550 and 600w, wide-format modules. In addition, no Torque Tube (TT) dimpling or through-bolts are required to index the module to the TT, allowing for module changes and retrofits. The high slope tolerance includes a 17.5% north-south tracker row allowance.
In addition to these advantages, Pioneer supports all module factors, including those over 2.4 meters in length, providing customers with increased flexibility when designing projects. In addition, Pioneer will operate independently from the grid during outages and is self-powered with a high-energy battery for up to 3-days overall backup, offering increased energy resilience. Additionally, Pioneer’s design also allows the use of ground screw mounting systems to overcome challenging sub-surface conditions.
Pioneer has undergone rigorous wind tunnel testing by an independent engineering firm RWDI to assure structural and torsional stability in wind conditions up to 120 mph. In addition, Pioneer’s distinctive torque tube shape allows for longer spans, improved torsional rigidity and positive alignment of components without the need for torque tube penetrations.
“The introduction of Pioneer, FTC’s unique solution to 1P Single Axis Trackers, will disrupt the status quo while enabling the company to serve our customers’ growing portfolios of PV projects with differentiated 1P and 2P solutions,” states Patrick Cook, chief commercial officer of FTC Solar.
In addition to the launch of Pioneer, the company has been selected by Primoris Renewable Energy (Primoris) in a multi-year agreement to supply at least 500 MW of its solar tracker technology for multiple project sites in the U.S. Primoris is expected to utilize FTC Solar’s new and differentiated Pioneer 1P tracker technology on multiple projects to optimize performance while reducing capital and labor costs.