The First Solar Tracker

Increasing Energy Output and Reducing LCOE

Technologies & Capabilities /  Mounting Systems /  The First Solar Tracker
Tracker systems follow the sun throughout the day to maximize energy output. The First Solar Tracker is a proven single-axis tracking technology that has been custom designed to integrate with First Solar modules and reduce system costs. The First Solar Tracker generates up to 25% more energy than fixed mounting systems and provides a bankable energy production profile preferred by utilities.

Trackers

  • Increased energy production and lower LCOE
  • Distributed Actuation Architecture™ with high system up-time and lower O&M costs
  • Industry-leading reliability and system availability
  • Flexible system design and pre-assembled components for faster time-to-power
  • Advanced communication system with high-resolution data collection and control
  • Proprietary tracking algorithm optimized for First Solar modules
Tracker Boost

Distributed ActuatorThe First Solar Tracker is the only tracking system engineered with our Distributed Actuation Architecture™—a proprietary distributed design that reduces costs while minimizing risk. By placing cost-effective, low-voltage actuators on each row of modules instead of mechanically connecting all rows in the system, the First Solar Tracker reduces the impact on system performance in the event of an individual row requiring service.

Benefits:

  • Eliminates emergency repairs by reducing the impact of any single-point failure
  • Simplifies O&M and reduces service and repair costs
  • Not impacted by spreading of soil due to ground motion
The First Solar Tracker provides the highest mechanical availability and lowest O&M of any tracker in the industry. Our tracking technology has more than 50,000,000 hours of operation with a system availability of over 99.98%. Multiple third parties have verified the reliability of our tracker system and its components.

“We estimate a lifetime average mechanical availability … 
of greater than 99.998% in each year of operation.”

— Independent Study by SAIC (formerly RW Beck)


First Solar also provides a data collection system that is incorporated into the tracker control system and reports the status at each individual row across the entire power plant. This built-in capability enhances system monitoring while further reducing cost and complexity.

 

Conventional Tracker

First Solar Tracker

Distributed Actuation Architecture™
   X
Energy loss of single-point failure
>200-500 kW   ~5 kW
Highest lifetime system availability    X
Lowest LCOE
   X
Man hours per MW of installation  >3,000  <2,000
Data collection on every row
   X
Obstruction sensing at row level
   X
Sloped Site Support (N-W and E-W)
   X
Typical repairs by single tech with hand tools
   X

Technologies & Capabilities

Grid Integration
Grid Integration
Plant Design
Plant Design & Engineering
Project Development
Project Development
Project Finance
Project Finance
Advanced PV Modules
Advanced PV Modules
Balance of Systems
Balance of Systems Technologies
Mounting Systems
Mounting Systems
Construction Management
Procurement & Construction Management
Operations and Maintenance
Operations & Maintenance

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