The Spanish engineering and manufacturing company of photovoltaic structures, Esasolar, has developed ESAblock, a system that protects solar trackers from the wind and fully (trackers) installed in photovoltaic installations.
This system guarantees the stability of solar trackers and prevents the effect known as galloping or floating whatever the wind speed.
the galloping or flutter is a wind-induced aeroelastic instability that is characterized by causing large amplitude oscillations in the tracking structures, producing a movement that can end in the collapse of the latter, literally causing the structures and structures to fly. photovoltaic panels that they support.
Esablock technology solves one of the major problems encountered by large photovoltaic installations: wind, by guaranteeing their protection against it.
Wind gusts, even at normal and moderate speeds, can generate instabilities in photovoltaic structures and damage them, which occurs much more often than desirable and has a very negative influence on performance and profitability. photovoltaic installations, which, in addition to repair costs, are forced to shut down all or part of their activity, with a negative effect on the production of electricity and the profitability of the installations.
Protection systems available on the market so far only start working when the wind exceeds the working speed of the tracker, which, as a rule, is usually less than 75 km / h. Often times, at lower wind speeds, the catastrophic effects of galloping or fluttering can occur, even with the traditional protection system activated.
Antonio Jesús Martín Nuñez, Technical Director of Esasolar.
Esasolar’s technical director cites as a catastrophic example of this effect the case of the Tacoma Bridge in the United States, which collapsed in 1940 because moderate-speed winds produced an air-elastic flap that coincided with the natural frequency. of the bridge, causing it to collapse.
According to the CEO of Esasolar, José Antonio Maldonado, the great contribution of the system is that it combines the versatility and efficiency of solar trackers (structures that move to orient themselves following the sun) with the safety of fixed structures, which always remain in place the same position.
Our technology allows the structure to move to follow the sun, but when it stops once it reaches its new position, it locks into place as if it were a fixed structure, unaffected by the wind; This means that it is always protected and safe and that the wind is just one more environmental factor, but not a risk.
Antonio Jesús Martín Nuñez.
The development of the ESAblock technology was carried out at the Spanish company’s research center in La Roda de Andalucía (Seville).