2 December 2010

OPEL launches wireless CPV tracker control network

OPEL Solar Inc of Shelton, CT, USA and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which makes high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) panels (as well as both roof- and ground-based solar trackers for mounting them), has announced a new wireless, utility-scale solar tracker control and management network developed in conjunction with its partner FEiNA in Spain.

The new system can be more easily deployed in solar fields because it does not require cables, which are normally used for network management. While older tracker systems required people on site for maintenance, problem-solving, and ongoing monitoring, the new wireless network allows key functions to be managed remotely and more cost-effectively. It can provide control and monitoring systems for solar fields currently being developed by utilities in the North American, European, and North African markets.

OPEL’s tracker family ranges from small single-axis trackers to utility-scale single- and dual-axis trackers that can increase the production of a photovoltaic array by up to 45%.

“We obviously see the benefits of linking our customers to a network control system via wireless technology, which improves both operational efficiency and maintenance,” says VP of engineering Dr Javier Berrios. “In partnership with FEiNA, with whom we’ve enjoyed a very successful relationship over the years, we are co-developing the next generation of solar tracker technology, which we see gaining significant acceptance, particularly in the European market,” he adds.

T he wireless tracker control technology can be used for any solar panel technology and is not exclusively designed for OPEL solar panel products. “It is important that our wireless tracker technology be PV panel agnostic,” believes Berrios. “The operation and maintenance system is more efficient, therefore keeping the system operating at optimal level.”

The new wireless tracker control is currently available for delivery in production volumes. FEiNA and OPEL currently have patent applications for the wireless system pending.

Through an exclusive agreement with FEiNA in Spain and with strategically located distributors, OPEL delivers tracker products worldwide. Its tracker control network system is CE Certified for use throughout Europe. Tracker systems, ranging from large rooftop applications to industrial solar farms, can be networked together to provide unison tracking and remote monitoring capabilities. The firm says that its trackers can be easily assembled and equipped with solar panels in less than four hours by a crew of 2–3 individuals without the need for special tooling, cranes or welding.


Visit: www.opelinc.com

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