AlionEnergy Readies New Tracker First Install

AlionEnergy's ARC racker at stow

The Alion ARC tracker is a ballasted single-axis design including a concrete base that is continuous under the row, and an A-frame support racking. The system also features flexible coupling to adjoint tables, with the ability to handle a 15 degree slope.

“Using a ballasted concrete track protects from the geotech and soil corrosion risks common in these markets, and it can be installed with minimal labor using standard, locally available equipment. We use the concrete track as a controlled platform for our cleaning robots, which can perform both wet and dry cleaning based on need, a critical feature in these growth markets,” says Jesse Atkinson, the vice president of marketing and development for AlionEnergy.

The ARC tracker will support 120 panels of 72 cells each (or 100 First Solar Series 5 panels) per motor drive, 50 percent more than a torque-tube designed tracker, says Atkinson. Design thus far will permit the use of framed or frameless panels, and bi-facial panel attachment will be launched in the near future, he says. Polysilicon or thin film panels are both supported by the system.

The track can achieve a 60 degree inclination over the Grade 90 metal frame that exerts weight distribution of only one pound per square foot. The structure is also wind resistant up to 165 miles per hour gusts (74 m/s).

AlionEnergy’s patented robot-extruded concrete base is ideal for rocky, hard, dusty and other challenging environments, notes Atkinson. The tracker can be cleaned by a companion robot, SPOT, a self-charging machine that cleans in either wet or dry modes. In wet mode, the panel-agnostic robot uses 0.25 liters per 72-cell panel wash, a savings of 75 percent over typical manual washing, he says.

Both the ARC tracker and Spot both carry a 30 year warranty.

While Alion continues its focus on the U.S. and MidEast markets, it has recently developed a strategic EPC network in India, Atkinson says.