Different technologies allow collecting this energy, each of them exhibit their own specificities and advantages: Photovoltaic (PV), Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) or Concentrating Solar Power (CSP).
Sun is one of the most promising renewable energy sources for the next decades. Different technologies allow collecting this energy, each of them exhibit their own specificities and advantages: Photovoltaic (PV), Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) or Concentrating Solar Power (CSP). Whatever the sun tracking system technology, it calls for precise, robust and maintenance-free motion systems.
To do so Sonceboz has recently launched an application-specific electric actuator that can be combined with gears and sensors in order to create the optimum sun tracking system. The whole unit reduces the overall system complexity of the solar trackers. The design of this application-specific electric actuator has been taking into consideration the operating environmental conditions of solar tracking applications as well their related challenges. This motor is a full mechatronic drive system, integrating a rugged DC brushless motor, high resolution sensor and LoadSense electronics. DC motors are technically not a viable solution in sun tracking applications due to their limited durability and life time.
The so-called LoadSense embedded electronics improves overall performance by permanently adapting the phase current to meet the needs of the task. That means that high torque from low to medium speed is constantly available for continuous motion mode: start – stop and associated step losses disappear. LoadSense brushless mechatronic systems run in closed loop and different communication interfaces are available or can be customized to fit customer specifications. As a result solar tracking systems benefit from highest safety and smoothest movement. Besides this functionality, the motor features a reduced gear ratio for less backlash and better precision.
The integrated sensor that exhibits a resolution up to 51200 microsteps/revolution permits great positioning accuracy of concentrated optics, panels or mirrors while installed in single axis or dual axis sun tracking systems. Withstanding temperatures from -40 to +100°C and being dust and water ingress resistant (IP67), this motor is highly robust and suits to extensive outdoor usage in a wide variety of climates. Its maintenance-free characteristic is due to its very long life brushless nature: the lack of frictions between brushes provides convenient reliability for solar tracking and heliostats applications.
The core motor technology is already proven to harsh operating environments and severe specifications as it has been successfully used in automotive emission control applications or mobile hydraulics valves for years. A further advantage of this motor includes a reduced electrical consumption thanks to LoadSense electronics, resulting in above average energy efficiency and low maintenance. Installed for instance in small size single axis tracking systems of parabolic troughs, this motion system will reduced the overall system complexity compared to a hydraulic system.
Sonceboz core competencies consist of design, development and production of mechatronic drive systems and electric motors that operate in harsh environments. The Swiss know-how of the 1000 employees is committed to improving safety, decreasing energy consumption and minimizing the impact on the environment. Since 1936 the focus on innovation, quality and service is recognized by worldwide OEM customers in the automotive, medtech and industrial markets.