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FTC Solar unveils new self-powered tracking system

https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2022/09/19/ftc-solar-unveils-new-self-powered-tracking-system/

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With a 500 MW agreement already secured for multiple large-scale projects using its new Pioneer tracker technology, FTC Solar has announced the launch of the one module in portrait (1P) solar tracker solution.

FTC Solar, which has been active in the Australian market since establishing an office in 2019, said Pioneer’s proprietary design reduces piles by 18% or more, delivering capital and labour cost reductions. It also features shorter row length that reportedly enables higher energy density for a given block of land.

“Pioneer achieves a full 18%-36% pile count reduction per megawatt versus the current industry-leading solutions by volume,” FTC chief technology officer Nagendra Cherukupalli said.

“And with a high-density design, Pioneer enables up to 5% greater energy output for the same site compared to the competition.”

Designed for utility-scale installations, the Pioneer tracking system accommodates 550 W and 600 W wide-format modules. FTC said the system supports all module factors, including those over 2.4 meters in length.

In addition, the company said no torque tube (TT) dimpling or through-bolts are required to index the module to the TT, allowing for module changes and retrofits. FTC said Pioneer’s distinctive TT shape allows for longer spans, improved torsional rigidity, and positive alignment of components without the need for penetrations.

FTC said the Pioneer system accommodates a 17.5% slope while zero-degree stow allows for reduced pile embedment depth. The design also allows the use of ground screw mounting systems to overcome challenging sub-surface conditions.

The tracker will operate independently from the grid during outages and is self-powered with battery back-up for up to three days.

The 500 MW agreement, signed with U.S.-based developer Primoris Renewable Energy, stipulates that FTC will supply its solar tracker technology for multiple project sites in the U.S. Primoris is expected to use the new Pioneer 1P tracker technology on multiple projects.

The Pioneer tracking system will make it public debut at the annual RE+ Power show in California this week. No details about when the Pioneer will be available in Australia have yet been provided.

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