MECASOLAR leads a European R&D project to develop new materials to increase the efficiency and durability of solar photovoltaic (PV) trackers
Friday, Jun 14, 2013
The European Union has launched a new research project called OPTIMUS, part of the EUREKA Technology Cooperation Program, which over the next three years will focus on the research and development of new materials to be applied to solar trackers, in order to maximise their efficiency. With a total budget of 830,577 euros – part funded by CDTI – the international project is led by MECASOLAR and also includes the participation of Advanced Composite Fibers (ACF) and ISTON.
The project aims to respond to solar industry technology requirements, providing products that are competitive in terms of their cost, with reduced material consumption, tracker weight and construction times. In this sense, the project’s multidisciplinary nature will enable knowledge to be generated and advances to be made in the field of polymer and cement-based composites, focused on solar tracker manufacture.
To achieve this, the three project participant companies, led by MECASOLAR, will work together during the next three years: MECASOLAR (Spain), a multinational specialising in the manufacture and design of solar trackers, fixed ground and roof structures and foundation bolts for large solar PV plants; ACF (Spain), specialising in the commercialisation, consultancy, design and execution of high performance solutions based on Carbon-fiber-reinforced-
MECASOLAR – leader in its sector with solar trackers and fixed structures used in over 500 projects in 50 countries – underlines that the development of the OPTIMUS project will constitute a leap in terms of solar tracker technology and materials, “to provide some of the answers to user needs and the disadvantages of the materials currently employed for tracker construction”.
Notable aspects improved by composites compared to current materials (galvanised steel) include the following: a 30% reduction in structure weight, which currently ranges between 1,920 and 2,225 kg; greater corrosion resistance in aggressive environments, increasing tracker durability given that composites have a greater resistance to chemical and organic/inorganic agents; and reduced tracker maintenance costs, with tracker life expected to be identical to that of solar panels.