Techdrives is introducing two ranges of Servomech actuators that are optimised for solar tracking in photovoltaic installations. They deliver high loads at low speeds and have excellent protection against hostile environments to the extent that a 10-year warranty is offered. These linear actuators are already in use worldwide for installations with surface areas from 12 to 300m2. Techdrives says the actuators can be readily customised, with speeds up to 7mm/s, strokes up to 1500mm and thrusts to 100kN.
Servomech solar tracking actuators are adapted for a long, trouble-free life in outdoor environments. Corrosion-resistant materials are used, such as the chromed push rod, and UV-resistant bellows that protect the screw from rain and dust. Installation is said to be made easy with a pivoting trunnion mounting that is set close to the push rod end, which also aids rigidity. Stroke end limit switches are included.
Motors can be DC but are more usually AC three-phase in a typical range of 0.18-1.5kW. Feedback for control purposes is either from a motor-mounted incremental encoder or a rotary potentiometer. Customers can specify higher motor power to cope with high wind loads on the solar panels.
The use of actuators on solar arrays to track the sun gives a significant boost to efficiency and reduces payback times. Servomech linear actuators are marketed in the UK by Techdrives and the full range of actuators and screw jacks is shown on the website. A flyer for the Servomech solar tracking actuators is available on request or as a download.