Qbotix, known for their solar tracking technology, is now offering the Robotic Tracking System (RTS), which according to the company will change the way ground mount solar systems are designed. With the RTS, tracking systems will become more affordable and dependable.
Typical tracking systems use concrete and other materials that are not fully optimised, difficult to set up and expensive. The material is also three times higher compared to fixed-tilt configurations. This problem is due to the need for every control system and actuation to track panels that constitute a given area.
Qbotix worked on these problems by creating a solar tracking system that is fully optimised, reliable and built to last. By using Solar Robotics the company was also able to resolve the controls and system actuation requirements.
The Robotic Solar Tracking System
The RTS solar tracking relies on two mobile, autonomous robots that can control 340 kW of solar modules. The system can do this while offering 100% redundancy and accuracy. The modules meanwhile are added to the Qbotix trackers minus the motors, reducing the cost while maintaining the stability and durability.
When using the RTS for ground mount solar, the robots will move on a rail and make periodic adjustments to the tracker so it is facing the sun in an optimum way. Under this setup the RTS is able to make full use of its power without compromising ease of installation or reliability.
The robots on this solar panel tracking system eliminate the need for hundreds of controllers and motors used in standard tracking systems. Furthermore, the presence of two robots on each loop means there is redundancy built in, ensuring the system has a high level tracking capacity.
Intelligence and Communications
According to Qbotix, the RTS solar tracking robots have embedded data communications and intelligence capabilities built in. With these in the system, the robots will have better knowledge of operational procedures, leading to superior power plant performance.
Qbotix also says that the RTS is compatible with all inverters and PV modules sold in the market today. In addition the RTS ground mount solar is designed to reduce cost while boosting the IRR (internal rate of return). What this means, according to the company, is better returns and lower PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) returns.
The cost of installing the RTS is similar to a single axis tracking system. The difference is the RTS can produce 15% more energy, and 40% more energy compared to systems that are fixed mount. The system can also be installed with no major land grading necessary.
Qbotix has also gone on record stating that the RTS will provide the highest project NPV possible. This is possible because the ground coverage ratios and dual axis yields are equal to a single axis system.
The RTS solar panel tracking also aims to provide the maximum revenue yield and lowest LCOE possible. By using this system, EPCs and developers will be in position to increase profits while continuing to deliver similar project hurdle rates as with a single axis or fixed tilt array.