Hardware brief: 300hrs/MW install time, multicrystalline pricing at “historical” lows, power tools, more!


Because I found the cool image above on Kevin Lin’s LinkedIN page (not their project), I thought to give a quick shout out on their solar racking (and more) hardware: “Founded in 1988, Fujian Fenan Aluminium Co. Ltd now is a large comprehensive enterprise, specializing in the production of aluminum profile, window system, stainless steel tubes and curtain wall accessories.” Source – Foen PV


At one point it was the solar module that got the headlines, later the inverter gained attention – these days “the metal” has the brains: “FTC Solar (pdf) has begun delivery and construction support for its Voyager single-axis tracker on 150 MW of solar projects in Oregon. Voyager is a single-axis tracker that requires fewer posts per module and less DC cabling to drive down install cost. The tracker is a single row, 2-P architecture that’s compatible with bifacial modules and allows suitable accessibility for O&M in higher ground-coverage ratio designs. FTC Solar provides a proprietary control system with Voyager, with granular control for row-level backtracking capabilities. Less than 300 man hrs/ MW to install.” Source – FTC Solar


Our digital tools are getting better, they take some learning and there are some rough edges – but as we learn what labor we need do, the toolmakers are refining how we do it. I never used SenseHawk, but my engineer said it sounded cool: “SenseHawk Core is a completely integrated set of applications to support everything from solar plant design and construction to operation and maintenance. The three new applications are SenseHawk App for site operations and collaboration, SenseHawk Desk for ticketing and workflow management, and SenseHawk Vault for file storage, indexing and sharing. The applications join three previously announced applications in SenseHawk Core: SenseHawk Terra for terrain data processing and analytics, SenseHawk Eye for construction monitoring and management, and SenseHawk Therm for thermography and plant health assessment.” Source – SenseHawk


If we can crimp better, we’ll have less fires. If we can crimp faster, the price of solar goes down. Generally a win-win as long as you’ve got enough batteries, and can manage a greater up front cost. “The resulting Milwaukee Tools M18 FORCE LOGIC 15T Crimper is not only the lightest 15T crimper available, but it’s also designed with numerous features to give users maximum control. A repositioned grip helps balance the tool, while a 350-degree rotating head provides a neutral wrist position regardless of the way the user needs to crimp, delivering the easiest alignment in the industry. In addition, a Quick Release and Push-to-Close pin design provides easy access around splices and in crowded environments. The tool is also fully compatible with all industry-standard P-Dies and P-to-U Die Adapters, enabling users to utilize the dies they already have.*” Source – TD World


Multicrystalline modules are showing consistent price softness, down around 2.5% over the past week to 10-13¢/W, which PV InfoLink suggests are “historical” lows. Wonder how long we’ll have multi modules. Mono PERC cells are showing upward pricing pressure.


And just a random question – does anyone have data on how solar and energy storage deal with earthquakes? Do we have any plants that were hard hit and information on the re-build?


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