Tough terrain. Sloping sites. Supply chain challenges. Designing and constructing larger scale, ground-mounted solar projects gets more complex each year. Luckily, ground-mount systems are up to the task. In our annual Ground-Mount Buyer’s Guide, we asked manufacturers to tell us what’s new in their offering and for any updated specs in their portfolio. What you’ll see is the market continues to push tolerances and accommodate PV trends, such as larger format and bifacial modules. Many of these companies are also much more than product manufacturers, offering an array of engineering and turnkey construction services. Check out what’s new with the top providers of in the space. Click the product to expand for more info!
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With our eyes on the horizon and our boots in the dirt, Terrasmart is able to provide true agnostic solutions, in both product and technology, for any terrain. Learn how.
Terrasmart, the renewable energy portfolio of Gibraltar, is a leading provider of solar racking technologies, electrical balance-of-system products, installation services, and project optimization software. Harnessing the combined strengths, technical expertise, and heritage of its four brands, the new Terrasmart delivers a holistic project experience and best-in-class solutions across markets, providing leading solar technologies and smart solutions across the project lifecycle to mitigate risks and amplify returns for solar projects of any size, type, and location. Serving the commercial and utility sectors across North America, Terrasmart integrates products and solutions across the PV lifecycle to minimize risks and maximize returns. With over 19 GWs of solar deployed across 4600 PV systems, Terrasmart creates unique value for more profitable solar on any terrain, anywhere in the U.S.
What’s new in 2022?
In 2022, Terrasmart furthered its integration, harnessing the combined strengths, technical expertise, and heritage of its four legacy brands. Terrasmart now offers its driven pile and ground screw foundations across all of its ground mount products.
- Utility-Scale ground mount: 20 – 300 MW
- Single-Axis Tracker: 20 – 100 MW
- Foundation agnostic solutions
- Design & Engineering: A seasoned team of geotechnical, structural, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineers provides project-specific, value-engineered solutions that will streamline your next ground mount project experience.
- Turnkey Construction: Our full-service construction team can bring all critical aspects of solar construction in-house. One of the most experienced field teams in the industry, specializing in professional surveying, drilling, screw, racking and panel installation. With one of the most experienced field teams in the industry, we have priceless insights that allow us to overcome challenges and streamline processes to ensure projects are completed on time
- Surveying: Site topology & 3D mapping is available via High Precision Aerial Site Mapping. Also, the first of its kind – our Autonomous Precision Survey Rover (APSR) triples the survey speed and accuracy on your next site.
- Manufacturing: Our multiple manufacturing facilities result in shorter lead times and ensure quality, while also allowing for custom solutions.
Number of pieces: 16
Posts per row: Average of 9 or more
Row lengths: Up to 94
Slope tolerances: Max Slope grade is 20% N/S and unlimited E/W
Certifications: UL 3703, UL 2703 & IEC 62817
Design: Built tough for increased strength, our durable mechanics ensure reliable performance. Adaptable for any project site from tough terrain, sloping topography, and harsh weather conditions. Our patent pending A-frame is compatible with driven piles and ground screws, giving us the flexibility to choose the right solution for your site. PeakYield™ technology and data-storing cloud can run predictive analytics to surface issues that were once buried, while machine learning tells us when a row isn’t tracking on its normal path. The admin panel allows us to troubleshoot sites quickly and remotely maximizing energy yield and significantly reducing operating downtime. Our unique combination of experienced engineering and installation teams gives us invaluable insights to design and build smarter, keeping projects on time and on budget.
• Adaptable frame and foundation can accommodate frost susceptible soils, 20% N/S slopes, unlimited E/W slopes, and eliminate 100% refusal risk
• Durable a-frame, torque tube, gear box, and self-locking hardware increase strength and ensure reliable performance in extreme weather
• PeakYield™ control technology is an advanced performance monitoring and controls architecture that optimizes your tracker’s performance, maximizing energy yield
• Real time data feeds the user-friendly dashboard so you can always know how your tracker is performing
• Remote access allows for quick and easy updates and troubleshooting without rolling a truck
Number of pieces: 7 Superstructure Beam Members (above the vertical leg)
Certifications: UL2703, Edition 1; CPP Wind Tunnel Tested
Installation: Our adjustable and durable frame features less hardware, integrated electrical bonding, and included wire management resulting in reduced labor hours. Installation times are shortened by up to 36% through simplified connections, agile parts, and seasoned field teams. Compatible with ground screws that will eliminate refusal risk, increase install efficiency, and make projects more predictable. With one of the most experienced field teams in the industry, we have priceless insights that allow us to overcome challenges and streamline processes to ensure projects are completed on time.
Advantages: With a slope tolerance of 36%, our racking can accommodate high slopes and undulating terrain. Landscape orientation is bifacial compatible to maximize potential backside power yield. Durable mechanics can tolerate wind speeds up to 170 mph and 100 PSF ground snow loads. Our seasoned field team prioritizes accuracy, safety, and efficiency. Foundation consultation from an unbiased partner, based on your unique project site. No matter the terrain or weather, we’ll provide the right solution. Our versatile design enables numerous configurations allowing us to meet your unique needs and bring solar to more fields.
Number of pieces: 7 (1 foundation, 6 racking components & bracket assemblies)
Certifications: UL2703, Wind Tunnel Tested
Installation: Engineered with flexibility in mind, the design incorporates continuous rows to mitigate topographic changes and minimize the number of foundations required. The system can be altered to multiple foundation options, with the base option being driven piers. Proprietary electrical bonding is integrated into the racking system, as well as other solutions for wire management. Pre-assembled parts reduce the number of connections required to be made in the field, minimizing Installation time.
Advantages: The standard engineering of the system is designed to accommodate slopes up to 15%. With several GW deployed across all 50 states, the system is durable and robust enough to accommodate the heavy snow loads in the Northeast, along with the high wind speeds of Hawaii. Our team of professional designers, licensed engineers, and dedicated project management collaborates to ensure projects are delivered in an effective manner and able to operate efficiently. We design each system to site specific environments, helping our partners to maximize the return value on each opportunity.
Number of pieces: 7 (2 foundations, 5 racking components & bracket assemblies)
Certifications: UL2703, Wind Tunnel Tested
Installation: Designed with a low tilt and clearance, the dual foundation design supports a higher number of PV modules per foundation than standard fixed-tilt systems. The low clearance makes for easier access to assemble components, all of which contain one bolt size. Components are shipped to site pre-assembled, requiring less hours for assembly in the field.
Advantages: For flat sites with low wind and snow loads, this system helps to maximize the PV output with a high ground coverage ratio (GCR). The low tilt and low clearance of the structure reduces row spacing, allowing for more PV modules to be deployed in a given area. The number of racking components is also reduced, reducing the installation time required to assemble the structure. A proprietary design in the components bonds the system, helping make wire management less intrusive.
AEROCOMPACT – founded in 2014 – designs, engineers, and manufactures flat roof, ground mount, and metal roof solar mounting solutions. Its racking systems are compact, aerodynamic, and easy to install. The company prides itself on its ability to provide intelligent racking solutions for the most challenging site conditions, e.g., with high wind/snow loads, or if required, a highly distributed ballasted ground mount solution for landfill or brownfield projects. Close to 2 GW of power installed with mounting systems from AEROCOMPACT.
What’s new in 2022?
AEROCOMPACT’s proprietary design tool for all of its systems, AeroTOOL, was updated to reflect the latest wind tunnel tests and meets the latest code requirements for many modules. The turnaround time for projects is within 48 hours. AEROCOMPACT supports customers in their permitting efforts to minimize the soft project costs and continue to update our products to meet customer demand.
Number of pieces: 5 (alternatively with a ballast tray or 18” ground screw)
Tools needed: Universal drill bit & torque wrench (optional impact drill for ground screws)
Certifications: UL2703 (no geotechnical service required)
How does it install: Three Easy Steps: Following our detailed plan, preinstall the clamps, measure the installation area and place brackets and connector brackets. Lay the modules and the ballast for the ground or the ground screws to the recommended sequence. (Optionally cable management).
- No ramming and no heavy machinery
- Ground screws can be installed with a hand drill
- No geotechnical service
- Best ground cover ratio in the market
- Fastest Ground mount installation
- 1 MW per truckload
Backed by decades of manufacturing and engineering experience, BCI Engineering’s Full Tilt fixed-tilt system have fewer parts, versatile module loading and fastening methods, and manufacturer-direct pricing. All of Full Tilt’s components are pre-galvanized, roll-formed shapes that bolt together.
Number of pieces: 6
Certifications: UL 2703
Installation: The pre-galvanized roll formed sections are lightweight and can be handled by two installers. The rafter features a pivot point near the center of gravity, allowing the structure and loading of the modules in the flat position. Piles are driven with a pile driver, preferably a vibratory type. The balance of the system can be installed by hand with a 2-to-4-person crew using simple hand tools, battery powered tools speed up the assembly. Once the piles are driven and the components are properly staged, a 20-module table can be fully assembled in less-than one man-hour.
Advantages: The Full Tilt system has many cost and labor saving features and one the installers gravitate towards is the “Longhorn” panel rails that keep the modules perfectly aligned for quick fastening. The assemblers need not waste time adjusting the modules, alignment is automatically perfect. Another big advantage of the Full Tilt system is that it is designed to be built in the flat position. This means that all components can be assembled at a safe working height without need for ladders or workers climbing the structure. After the structure is assembled and panels fastened, the complete structure is easily and safely rotated to final position.
Gripple, a manufacturer of time-saving products for the civil and seismic markets, entered the solar market in 2021 with a few tried and tested solutions to secure new and existing ground-mounted solar arrays. All components are made specifically for outdoor use with a life expectancy of 30+ years in the harshest conditions. Gripple’s Solar Bracing Solutions can be easily retrofitted to any existing system for any remedial work caused by external forces, such as realigning misshapen posts or to stop tables tilting and structures leaning.
What’s new in 2022?
Gripple debuted The CR-System range that includes lightweight above ground cable routing devices that are able to hold 1170 6mm2 of cables and have the potential to be stacked to increase capacity. Manufactured from polycarbonate UV Stabilized corrosion-resistant material, their free-air position can assist at design stage to de-rate and reduce the CSA on cabling used, providing further savings on project costs opposed to traditional trenching.
Material: All components are made specifically for outdoor use with a life expectancy of 30+ years in the harshest conditions. Gripple’s wire rope is coated with corrosion-resistant Zinc Aluminum and can be integrated as part of the frame with custom hot dipped brackets or looped around existing fixing points. The internal gripping mechanism is made up from a sintered ceramic roller offering a superior strength to alternative tension-only bracing systems with a load rating of up to 3,860 lbs.
Install: The two-way locking device known as a PV Dynamic Tensioner allows you to install a brace quickly and easily between two piles. Applying pre-tension using a fast and unique tensioning tool the PV Bracing Kit will ensure the frame stays rigid, eliminating misalignment that might occur as the frame is installed. By bracing the first bay of an array, the setting out of the proceeding bays will be simpler, ensuring efficient use of materials. The kits are fast, lightweight and are delivered in ready-to-use kits drastically improving health and safety on-site.
Key feature: Kits come in requested ‘oversized’ lengths to allow for greater flexibility in the tolerance of frame installation and support a greater variety of mounting systems. To aid the installer, the Dynamic Tensioner component is releasable allowing the product to be adjusted prior to tensioning.
Stockton, Calif.-based Mechatron Solar is an international commercial and industrial solar project developer that manufactures unique, patented dual-axis photovoltaic trackers, each supporting 90 solar panels. The company’s unusually high-yield trackers have the highest energy density and the lowest ground footprint in the industry. Mechatron solar trackers include gearless azimuth trackers and gearless dual-axis trackers, which are designed to maximize performance with a lower operations and maintenance cost than other commercially available tracking systems. They have been successfully tested under different climate conditions rate structures constitute the best available solution for photovoltaic plant installation.
What’s new in 2022?
Mechatron was certified under UL 3703 this year and has a top-tier bankability analysis nearly complete. The flagship tracker also features a new digital guidance system, along with a new optional design with eight columns to accommodate large format modules. The new M16KD agriculture model features extra spacing between vertical panel stacks to permit more light to reach crops beneath the tracker, along with a new table-supported reflector option to enhance bifacial performance. The new M10KD residential model features a reduced table size to support 49 panels, to accommodate limited space requirements.
Posts per row: One reinforced concrete post or driven steel pile
Row length: Nine rows of 10 modules in landscape orientation; platform height 15 feet
Slope tolerances: Mounts in any terrain condition with virtually no slope limitations.
Certifications: UL 3703
Design: How is it constructed and how is it driven: The unique, patented MK18D features a gearless mechanism that eliminates the shear wear common with industry standard gear-driven trackers. The ball-bearing ring mechanism rotates the massive 90-panel platform around the azimuth axis with very high accuracy, zero-backlash and a hydraulic double-brake design. There are three hydraulic drives for azimuth motion and one hydraulic drive for elevation; these use standard single 3-phase 277/480V 1.5A Wye or 1-phase 120/240V 3A motors. These drive mechanisms permit a motion range of 360 degrees across the azimuth axis with 1 degree accuracy, and 0-60 degrees along the zenith axis with 1 degree accuracy. The tracker is designed to self-stow.
Advantages: As described above, the MK18D features a gearless azimuth drive ring, a hydraulic double brake mechanism, zero backlash and a self-stow feature. As a result of the superior solar tracking, the energy yield is 50% higher than a fixed-tilt ground mount and 20% higher than a single-axis tracker, where all three designs use the same number and type of modules. Bifacial panels add a 13% energy boost, several percentage points higher than single-axis and much higher than fixed-tilt designs, thanks to the 15-foot high panel table that captures more diffuse and direct reflection light than does the competition.
What’s new in 2022
OMCO Solar has launched its revolutionary Origin Bifacial Tracker. The open backside design delivers high energy yield with uniform irradiance, ensuring excellent long-term production. The foldable, pre-assembled module frame and bearing provide quick, easy installation. Combining design innovation with factory direct production capabilities, this versatile 2-in-landscape tracker delivers performance and economic value for customers.
- On-Site Pile Testing. OMCO can provide customers with pile testing for their solar projects across the United States. This includes a 3rd party stamped report that can be used for foundation design and is a cost-effective alternative to geotechnical reports.
- Engineering Design & Site Optimization. OMCO has an experienced engineering team that can provide customers with stamped construction drawings and calculation packages. We also have the ability to optimize a project design to maximize the benefits of OMCO products.
- Single Point of Contact Contracting Model. OMCO provides fast and efficient delivery of a completed racking solution while minimizing transaction costs and construction delays that are typically associated with the conventional multiple-contract method. Our single point of contact contracting model streamlines the process significantly for customers.
- Buy Direct from the Manufacturer. OMCO has four manufacturing facilities that provide superior customer support from a knowledgeable and experienced team. This also means that OMCO can offer highly competitive pricing and reduced lead-times, which can be challenging for other suppliers.
Posts per row: Dependent on soil conditions, type of posts and row length—average is 11 to 13 per row
Row lengths: While 96 modules per row is most common, OMCO Solar can customize to accommodate up to 112
Slope tolerances: Can accommodate a North-South slope of up to 15%
Certifications: Several, including UL3703 and ASCE7-10
Design: The OMCO Origin Bifacial Tracker is constructed of cast aluminum and galvanized steel with high-strength and self-lubricating Delrin. Its balanced design allows for more accurate targeting and reduced energy consumption. The module frame and bearing are factory preassembled and shipped as single units for labor, time and cost savings. The unique bearing adjusts to accommodate post misalignment. Customers benefit from more backside production with a tracker optimized for bifacial modules with a 2-in-landscape design. The tracker also includes foundation options of driven C posts and driven I or W posts.
• Factory Preassembled – bearing and module frame is supplied as single, preassembled units for installation labor savings
• Balanced Design – axis of rotation at the center of mass of the table improves targeting
• Long Wear Life – tested to more than 40 years equivalent life
• 7 Dimensions of Adjustment – bearing adjusts to accommodate post misalignment to avoid project delays
• Up to 20% More Back Side Production – open back allows uniform backside irradiance, critical for long cell and module life
• Short Lead Times – Customers benefit from expedited delivery due to OMCO Solar’s four strategically-located U.S. manufacturing plants
Number of pieces: Typically 11 components plus hardware
Posts per row: As few as 11 posts per 120-module length tracker
Row lengths: Row lengths can vary up to 120 framed silicon modules per row (up to 122 meters long)
Slope tolerances: North-South Slope = ± 15%, East-West Slope = ± 20%
Certifications: UL3703, ASCE7-10; Motor, Drive, and Tracker Controller are IEC IP65
Design: The foundation piles are driven into the ground followed by the installation of the bearing, as follows:
- Pre-assembled bearing is placed on top of the posts & tightened by hand via fasteners, providing multiple directions of flexibility
- Use the drive mount to install the slew drive onto the top of the drive post
- After the slew drive is torqued properly, position the journal backing plate against the slew drive
- Prior to installing the torque tubes, place the module mount assemblies per each bearing span over the tube.
- Place the torque tubes that connect to the slew drive in the bearing assemblies by sliding the torque tube into the journal on each side of the slew drive
- Slide the modules onto the mounting assembly by tightening the pre-assembled clamps
- Install all electrical components per the installation manual
The OMCO ORIGIN tracker has many proven operational benefits and economic value that can only be realized when dealing directly with the manufacturer. The universal module mount is designed to make the installation process fast and easy while also allowing for last-minute module adjustments. There are also fewer trackers per MW because the design allows for longer rows -- up to 120 modules long. This helps minimize the number of trackers, thus reducing the capital cost of the project, due to fewer controllers, drives and motors, lower O&M cost, and fewer spare parts.
Number of pieces: Each rack typically consists of five to seven pre-assembled components. Structural components are made from Galvanized U.S. Steel, Per ASTM A653 - Latest Edition
Certifications: ISO 9001:2015 Standard, UL 2703 Ed. 1, CPP Wind Tunnel-Tested, NEC Compliant
- Foundation piles are driven into the ground
- Pre-assembled tilt bracket assemblies are bolted onto the piles
- Lateral beams are connected by fasteners to the tilt assemblies
- The vertical pre-assembled mod-rails are fastened onto the beams
- Modules are slid up the mod-rails until the modules catch the pre-punched notches that hold them in place
- Lastly, this allows installers to fasten the clamps down from below due to our patented hex-tip bolt
Pre-Assembled components and assembly optimizes packaging & shipping, reduces on-site labor requirements, accelerates total build time, and eliminates loose hardware along with third party grounding devices. This in turn accelerates the assembly process. The module clamps can be fastened from below, eliminating the need for any overhead lifting of the equipment for safe installation. All of the structural components are manufactured by OMCO at our four strategically located US manufacturing locations, further reducing shipping costs and lead times.
Number of pieces: 8 Typical Components + Hardware
Certifications: ISO 9001:2015 Standard, UL 2703 Ed. 1, CPP Wind Tunnel-Tested, NEC Compliant
- For a pile-driven foundation, posts are driven into the ground
- Pre-assembled tilt bracket assemblies are bolted onto the piles
- Lateral beams are then connected by fasteners to the tilt assemblies
- Modules are secured with fasteners directly onto the beams to provide a secure bond
Pre-Assembled tilt assembly optimizes packaging & shipping, reduces on-site labor requirements, accelerates total build time, and eliminates loose hardware along with third party grounding devices. This in turn accelerates the assembly process. All the structural components are manufactured by OMCO at our four strategically located US manufacturing locations, further reducing shipping costs and lead times.
RP Construction Services, Inc. (RPCS) provides turnkey design, structural engineering, procurement/supply, mechanical installation, and specialty services to EPCs, developers, and municipal utilities. As the nation’s leading contractor and Array Technologies single-axis tracker expert, RPCS has completed more than 900 projects, totaling over 3GW, and helps customers meet their renewable energy goals with simple, seamless project execution. RPCS has approximately 300 employees and is headquartered in Monterey, California, and maintains facilities in California, Mississippi, and Kansas.
Projects of all sizes, 20-100 MW sweet spot
What’s new in 2022?
RPCS has invested a lot of resources in material warehousing and expanded its tracker row kits. RPCS has the ability to stock all the key components and ensure that they are not only ready when needed, but also packaged and delivered to the site in a way that speeds up the installation of the trackers. They’ve also developed an in-house software program that is designed around the tracker they deploy and allows customers to see their portfolios of projects moving through each step of the way.
- Portfolio Management – RPCS has the ability to move many projects simultaneously through design, supply.
- Design/Engineering – RPCS provides foundation design and layout, geotechnical site assessment support, tracker and foundation post supply and logistics, and solar tracker technical expertise.
- Supply/Procurement – RPCS offers in-house stocking services with facilities in California, Mississippi, and Kansas with more than 1GW in annual supply.
- Mechanical Installation – RPCS is a fully-licensed mechanical and electrical contractor, self-performing work across the country.
- Kitting – RPCS is the first contractor in the utility space to pre-kit the Array tracker, allowing work that would otherwise be done onsite to be done in a controlled environment at an RPCS facility.
- Additional Construction Services – RPCS offers on-site project management, commissioning, QA/QC, and O&M services.
Number of pieces: 30 individual part types per row
Posts per row: Up to 26 (varies based on design criteria)
Row lengths: 100+ module row lengths, up to 126 meters long (varies based on module size and weight)
Slope tolerances: 15 degrees N/S; 37 degrees E/W
Certifications: UL 2703, 3703 and IEC 62817
Design: The Array tracker can be custom designed, supplied, and installed by RPCS, Array’s trusted partner and leading Array tracker installer. RPCS is dedicated to offering customers the best overall experience, with a team of over 300 tracker experts to offer support. Linked rows are powered by an AC motor, an articulating driveline, and a rotating gear drive. Up to 32 rows can be controlled by just one motor.
Advantages: The DuraTrack boasts up to 25% energy gain over fixed-tilt systems and has an unparalleled track record of high uptime (99.996%), 7% lower LCOE, and 31% lower lifetime O&M with zero scheduled maintenance. The Array tracker utilizes the fewest motors per MW, with 167 times fewer components, and is the most adaptable tracker in terms of terrain, with low grading and the ability to be readily deployed on the most challenging parcels. In addition, the tracker is designed to mitigate high wind loads, snow loads, and inclement weather like hail.
Solar FlexRack, a division of Northern States Metals, is an integrated solar company that offers reliable and time-tested custom-designed, fixed tilt ground mount and single-axis solar tracking systems in the commercial and utility-scale solar mounting industries. Solar FlexRack also offers full spectrum engineering support, including electrical, mechanical, structural, geotechnical & process, to enable your project to be completed efficiently and cost effectively. Solar FlexRack has completed over 1,000 solar racking installations in nearly all 50 U.S. states and five countries, representing a total of 3 GW of solar power projects.
What’s new in 2022?
“Each of our product lines – fixed tilt, ballasted and trackers – are now fully adaptable to the wide range of large format modules on the market,” says Mike Herman, Director of Operations. “Large format modules are increasingly being used due to their ability to increase energy yield through more watts per tracker and reduce Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), including through reduced hardware costs and project soft costs. However, they pose additional challenges when it comes to handling wind speeds and snow pressures. We are pleased that each of our product lines have been rigorously tested to integrate with, and have and continue to be successfully deployed with, large format modules. In fact, our products are now being integrated with large format modules in about 70 percent of our projects.”
Installation: Solar FlexRack Series G3-X Ground Mount Rack installs quickly, features similar-sized hardware and requires only standard tools and equipment for assembly. The system is easily staged on job sites and can be assembled in a logical, step-by-step manner in the field by crews of any skill level. With best-in-class engineering, the G3-X has unique design attributes that ensure ease of installation. The system’s lateral bracing stabilizes and perfectly squares the racking system, so modules easily slide into place for fast, safe, and easy module installation. While mostly pre-assembled, the horizontal rail bracket allows racking to be held in place while aligning rows with terrain. The G3-X can be easily assembled on site or can be delivered partially pre-assembled.
Advantages: Solar FlexRack prioritizes module structural integrity with its racking design, and keeps modules in prime condition through construction and beyond. The G3-X Series is a robust, efficient and low component design that installs quickly and easily. It is compatible with all foundation solutions and comes with automatic system squaring, lateral bracing, horizontal rail brackets, and slotted connections for ease of installation. It also allows for safe and quick module mounting with a direct bolt bonded connection. The G3-X leverages the company’s field-proven install base of over 3 GW to deliver the highest quality, pre- or field-assembled ground mount systems that accommodate up to 20% slopes for reduced civil costs.
Certifications: UL 2703 (Issue 2)
Installation: SolarFlexRack’s Ground Mount Fixed Tilt B Series (Ballasted) solution is available with blocks pre-cast offsite or cast-in-place (CIP) on site utilizing Solar FlexRack’s unique, easy to assemble form system. The CIP solution requires only six screws for form assembly, which can be complete in under three minutes with two people. Watch the video of how easy CIP is assembled.
Advantages: Conveniently available with blocks pre-cast or cast-in-place to meet each project’s unique needs, Solar FlexRack’s Ground Mount Fixed Tilt B Series (Ballasted) solutions are well-suited for landfills and challenging terrain sites. The FlexRack Series B pre-cast solution makes use of a two-support system that transfers loads into the block through double the supports for reduced block thickness, as well as enables the use of a split block system, which requires lighter lifting machinery to accommodate sites with low bearing pressure requirements. The cast-in system allows for quick assembly and adjustability, reducing overall labor costs.
Certifications: UL 2703 (Issue 2), ISO 9001
- Row lengths: Up to 90 modules per independent table
- Slope tolerances: Up to 10% North-South slope tolerance
- Certifications: UL 2703
Construction: Independently driven; single-axis horizontal, distributed drive. Drive type: Slew. No special tools required. Any tools needed could be acquired at your local hardware store.
Advantages: Solar FlexRack’s reliable TDP 2.0 Solar Tracker with BalanceTrac bundles an advanced tracker design with top-tier engineering and project support services to safeguard solar projects from unexpected costs. One of the easiest trackers to install, TDP 2.0 features smart backtracking to reduce row shading & maximize energy yield. The TDP 2.0 has an increased table size to provide optimal module density as well as compatibility with 1,000V and 1,500V modules. In order to enable greater adjustability to maximize system performance, the TDP 2.0 features a rotational range of 110° (± 55°) and ground clearance that allows for shorter piles.
- Row lengths: Up to 60 modules per independent table
- Slope tolerances: Up to 10% North-South slope tolerances
- Certifications: UL 2703
- Design: Single-axis, horizontal, distributed drive
- Drive type: linear actuator
Advantages: Field-proven with over 75 projects installed in North America, Solar FlexRack’s TDP 1.0 Solar Tracker leverages a simple, efficient design for highly reliable and easy installations. Ideal for smaller or highly irregular layouts, the TDP 1.0’s small drive block enables up to 40% reduction in land use. The TDP 1.0 also utilizes a distributed drive and has no mechanical components between rows, allowing for easy and cost effective access for mowers, cleaning services and other project maintenance. Complete with Solar FlexRack’s full spectrum engineering and project support services, the TDP 1.0 features smart backtracking to reduce shading across rows and maximize energy yield.
Unique compared to the rest in this section, Sollega provides one racking system that can go from the commercial rooftop to the ground. The universal design, manufactured from UV rated glass reinforced Nylon 6, enables the installation of all framed modules and stands up especially well in highly corrosive conditions near the ocean. Injection molded in California, 100 percent made in the USA.
Number of pieces: 1
Tools needed: 1
Certifications: UL2703, UL1703, UL467
How does it install: The FastRack FR-510 is a one piece low profile ballasted Solar Racking system injection molded from glass reinforced nylon. The simple design enables a “Build As You Go” installation method which is quick to install with minimal training required. The PV panels are attached with a pull/end clamp combination providing a robust and secure connection to the bucket. Pre-installed bolts on the racking determine the tilt and inter-row spacing. We clamp on all 4 sides of the long rail frame on the long in landscape orientation. Buckets have reference tabs built in to ensure proper placement of the modules to the bucket. One-piece stainless slide on bonding jumper provides easy module to module bonding. The bonding jumper installs without the need for tools. Add ballast blocks (4”x18”x16”).
Advantages: The FastRack510 ballasted ground mount system does not require assembly, ground penetration, drilling, or pile driving. You do not need to source expensive steel, pipe, or rent heavy machinery for the ground mount installation. Minimal geotechnical engineering required since there is no pile driving required. It is a simple one-piece design that is quick to manufacture, ship, stage and install. Has 5,6 & 10 degree tilt options (GCR 72-80%). Minimal ground preparation needed using a weed barrier and aggregate. Flexible system that adapts to contours and uneven ground surfaces up to 7dg. Easy to expand the solar array if needed. Ideal solution for brownfield, landfill, gravel, concrete, asphalt surfaces. Manufactured in California from UV rated glass reinforced Nylon 6 which is non-corrosive and weather resistant. Class “A” Fire Rating Type 1, 2, & 3 modules. Ships 25 kW per pallet and 750 kW in 40 ft shipping container.
Soltec specializes in integrated solar photovoltaic solutions, whose business is focused on solar tracking systems with a strong commitment to innovation. Soltec is positioned as the world’s third leading company in the market among solar tracker suppliers, and leader supply in countries such as Brazil or Chile. With headquarters in Spain, Soltec has been operating since 2004 and has a diversified geographic presence focused on Spain, North America and Latin America. It has presence in 16 countries with more than 1,300 employees.
What’s new in 2022?
Soltec launched the Solarfighter kit last year, which includes both the product and the plant assembly service. In addition, Soltec’s Solmate after-sales service includes all maintenance and care services for solar plants.
Posts per row: 9
Row lengths: up to 75 meters
Slope tolerances: Configurable (Nort-South: 7% or higher on demand / East-West: 5%)
Certifications: In process
Design: SFOne is the 1P tracker by Soltec. This tracker combines the mechanical simplicity with the extraordinary expertise of Soltec for more than 18 years. Specially designed for larger 72 and 78 cell modules, this tracker is self-powered thanks to its dedicated module, which results into a lower cost-operational power supply.
Advantages: This tracker has a configuration of 1P to reduce the operational cost of PV plants when installed in flat terrain. Thanks to this configuration, SFOne can reduce the cost-effectiveness of the plant and it is self-powered by its dedicated module.
Installation: Thanks to the slopes and roughness tolerances of the terrain, it facilitates the work of driving, improving times, if we also add that the 2P configuration has fewer pile-drives per MW, this task is solved in an efficient way. And thanks to these tolerances, aligning the elements is easier. In addition, this tracker has already been optimized in terms of hardware, reducing both installation and maintenance work.
Advantages: No additional PV module or grid connection is required, as well as the length of its cable is 81% shorter. In addition, due to its simple structure, it costs 75 percent less work to install and has a 10-year warranty. Factory tested, maintenance-free and does not require a combiner box.
Certifications: UL 3703 Certification and IEC62817
Installation: This all-in-one kit facilitates, not only the procedures, but the assembly and commissioning of the plant, since it includes all the necessary elements: SF7 solar tracker, modules, inverters, communications and cabling and other pieces. The adaptability of the SF7 is made clear once again when it is chosen as the solar tracker for this kit, which will have the modules that offer the highest performance in the project.
Advantages: In addition to being the first complete kit for distributed generation PV tracking projects of up to 12 MW, its main advantage is its ease of construction, availability and installation. This is due to its simple configuration and the fact that the customer does not have to take care of anything. In addition, it is prepared for all weather conditions and has the possibility of including energy storage batteries in the kit.
Certifications: In process
Sunfolding maximizes profitability with innovative solar tracking technology. Powered by air, the Sunfolding T29 Single-Axis Tracker deploys on land previously off limits to utility-scale solar. The Sunfolding T29 also makes solar plants faster to install and easier to operate. Sunfolding has won recognition as a 2020 Global Cleantech 100 Company and a 2019 Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer. Headquartered in Alameda, CA, Sunfolding ships US-manufactured trackers throughout North America.
Projects above 5 MW, especially those that can benefit from earthwork savings.
What’s new in 2022?
Working closely with our customers, Sunfolding has scaled down the T29 Single-Axis Tracker to two posts so we can navigate terrain and topographic features with even more flexibility and at no added cost. To begin with, actuation on every post brings unparalleled flexibility. The ability to reset tracker tables every 25 to 30 feet vastly improves tolerances on the east-west axis and in terms of tracker height. Dips and swells at ground level no longer have any impact on system design. A tracker can go from a steep rising slope to a steep falling slope or anything in between. Instead of designing one 300-foot span at a time, take advantage of the granular ability to follow terrain undulations from one plane to another and another and reduce earthwork by more than 90%.
Number of pieces: 3 structural components
Row lengths: 1 to 2 strings in length
Slope tolerances: Up to 12.3% grade slopes with no change to standard product
Design: With just three unique structural components, Sunfolding makes construction easier. From the post all the way to the modules, we streamline and expedite the installation process. By reducing the number of post sizes that you’re dealing with, we have reduced the possibilities of misplacing a post or misdriving a post. With a shorter post embedment depth, Sunfolding minimizes interaction and contact with subgrade rock.
Advantages: The Sunfolding T29 optimizes solar tracking and maximizes energy output. Unlike motor-driven trackers, the Sunfolding T29 makes solar infrastructure simple again. Sunfolding projects neutralize costs with flexible layouts that fit the trackers to the land. Small tracker tables enable denser DC per acre without driving up costs and reduce earthwork by more than 70%. Fewer components makes every project simpler and allows for a reduction in construction costs by more than 15%.
Specialty: residential and C&I <500 kW
SunModo, meaning “the way of the sun,” is a private U.S. company headquartered in Vancouver, Wash., that is focused on innovative racking and mounting solutions for professional installers in the fast-growing solar industry. Our commitment to innovation can be seen across our entire product line, which includes 20 plus industry-shaping patents. From residential rooftops to large-scale ground-mounts and everything in between, SunModo has the most comprehensive solar mounting and racking solutions.
Certifications: UL 2703
Installation: No cutting, welding, or drilling. Adjust height and install posts with set screws. Pipe fittings attach quickly with set screws. Two-piece pipe caps make installation easy. Structural splice with set screws for bonding. Fast rail attachment with T-bolts. The SunTurf Ground Mount System easily integrates Helio Rails with Schedule 40 Steel Pipes. Combine SunTurf with SunModo Ground Screws or Augers and do a complete install of a 15-kW system with only one day on the job site. For a more interactive look at SunModo’s Ground Mount, check out this video.
Advantages: SunModo offers the next generation SunTurf Ground Mount System. The streamlined design combines the simplicity of a pipe-based system with next-level engineering. SurTurf Ground Mount is ideal for solar installers looking for a low cost high performance system that can accommodate a wide variety of soil conditions. No drilling is required to attach the aluminum rails to the horizontal pipe. The innovative swivel pipe cap kit can accommodate terrains up to 27% slope east-west and 120% slope north-south.
Have you checked out our YouTube page?
We have a ton video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! -- a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics as well as best practices / trends for running a solar business today.
Our longer running side project is The Pitch -- in which we have awkward discussions with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technology and ideas so that you don't have to. We discuss everything from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.