‘Floating’ Solar Tracker Technology Boosts Efficiency and Profit for Solar Farms
Trabant Solar's innovative floating tracker increases profits for solar farms by more than 20% and efficiency by up to 42% over fixed-position systems. Pre-programmed controller, which scales up to 25 trackers, relies on easy-to-use function blocks from a special Siemens solar library.
Trabant Solar Inc.'s solar trackers eliminate the masts and poles anchored in cement, and instead uses a ballast pan filled with dirt, gravel or sand. The pan, which holds 9,000 pounds, floats on the surface of the ground, anchors solar arrays even in winds higher than 90 MPH.
The result: it's now possibly to locate solar array farms in wetlands, sand, rock and other unstable or unusable conditions that weren't suitable using conventional infrastructures.
The controller is preprogrammed with Simatic Step 7 Basic software with easy to use function blocks that are part of a Solar Library developed by Siemens. The solar positioning algorithms at the heart of these function blocks were developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The algorithms know the exact position of the sun for the next 100 years.
Low hardware and installation costs maximize profit for customers. Superior technology and global support with off-the-shelf components was a key decision in selecting Siemens... Read more
Understanding Standards, Guideline and Codes Impacting Solar Power Equipment Industry
Experts from TÜV Rheinland cover the basics for solar equipment and component manufacturers who must comply with the regulations.
Rising energy costs and growing efforts to go green are helping drive dramatic increases in solar power installations. As more equipment manufacturers and installation companies dive into the market, there's a growing need for companies throughout the supply chain to understand the standards, guidelines and codes that govern the solar industry.
Growth is expected to be substantial. Solarbuzz predicts that the output of solar installations will grow to 15.4-37 GWatts in 2014, more than five times the size of the 2009 market. The expansion has attracted companies that address all aspects of solar installations, from solar panels and electronic controls to mechanical support structures to those who build large solar farms or install individual units.
The solar industry has already captured the attention of a wide range of regulators. Around the globe, they have created directives that govern most of the equipment used to set up systems in the field as well as the techniques used to install them... Read more
Turning Water into Oil
America's need for energy continues to cause concerns for politicians and consumers as well as those who pull oil and gas from the earth. Demand for these natural resources continues to rise while prices fluctuate wildly and the uninterrupted availability of foreign oil remains uncertain.
Fluctuations in supply and rising prices have driven oil and gas suppliers in the U.S. to focus more on domestic supplies. That's prompted dramatic increase in hydraulic fracturing, often called fracking.
Water is one of the key requirements for fracking. Millions of gallons of water are pumped into wells drilled in shale fields, breaking the shale so oil and gas can be extracted. Fracturing was once a costly technique, but improvements in fracking have lowered costs while prices for oil and gas have risen
That's led more drillers to mine America's vast resources. For example, the Marcellus Shale Formation in the eastern U.S. has well over 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Some researchers say that's enough to satisfy as much as two years of America's total consumption. Getting this gas out of the earth takes a lot of water... Read more