A ground mount system promising less material per kW of installed capacity, a faster assembly and a higher load-bearing capacity, has recently been unveiled.
High-tensile steel, usually used in the automotive and the mechanical engineering industry, is being used for the pile driven foundations, girders and purlins of the new system. In addition, the geometry of the purlins has been redesigned and instead of following a Z profile, the cross section of the purlins is formed as a downward opening, symmetrical trapezium.
The new shape in combination with the new material promises an increased load capacity of the purlins. The purlins can support spans of up to 6.5 m, which is about 20% more than the previous generation of ground mount systems. This means that potentially more photovoltaic capacity can be installed on fewer supports.
The new geometry also allows the purlins to function as a cable tray. String cables are fed through the purlins and are thus protected against wind, weather and ultraviolet radiation as well as removing the need for cable ties.
In order to reduce the time needed to assemble the system, individual components have been optimised and aligned. Most connections are based on clamps, which aims to eliminate on-site drilling or pre-punching of holes.
The clamping connections have flexible connection points along their individual axes, allowing for on-site adjustments to be made according to local conditions.
A new rafter lay-in system has been developed to facilitate the mounting of modules. The modules are pushed in from below between the tilted rafter and then fastened with a slip guard, allowing them to be mounted without the use of ladders or lifting platforms.
The rafter assembly can be used for frames of a thickness of 30 mm, 35 mm and 40 mm. Frameless modules or other module strengths can also be fastened with clamp-based rafter systems.
The FS Gen 3 system from The Schletter Group is available with one (FS Uno Gen 3) or two (FS Duo Gen 3) supports and aims to become the group’s standard open space system in all of its markets.
In addition, the group has also unveiled a version of its tracking system that has been optimised for bifacial modules. The system’s design includes a mechanical self-locking system incorporating a mechanical locking element on each post, which locks automatically if the row is not moved. This aims to eliminate wind-induced vibrations, the so-called galloping effect, for the entire row. When in the resting position, the system has the characteristics of a fixed installation suitable for wind speeds of up to 260 km/h.