In the past few weeks, we have been working on the final spurt of one of Europe’s largest PV projects in Brandenburg: less than a year ago, we delivered the first mounting systems there for EnBW. The 300 MWp project has now been connected to the grid. A project of this size is not an everyday occurrence for us either. That is why we are taking another look back in this newsletter.
But despite all our pride, we are also looking forward again – to the upcoming market launch of our new single-panel version of our tracking system and our FixGrid Pro flat roof system. For both products, we focused on the greatest possible material efficiency per kilowatt output. You can read about how our developers achieved this on the following pages.
We wish you an enjoyable read!
CEO Schletter Group
CTO Schletter Group
CFO Schletter Group
Power Up! Major 300 MW EnBW Project Goes Online
One of the largest solar projects in Europe has started operation. For its 300 MWp project in eastern Brandenburg, the energy company EnBW relies on our durable and resilient open-area system “FS Duo”.
Almost 700,000 bifacial modules were installed in the villages of Gottesgabe and Alttrebbin on a combined construction area of around 250 hectares. The two sites together are thus about the size of 350 soccer fields. More than 140,000 pile-driven foundations were driven into the ground to anchor our twin-post system.
Together with the nearby 187 MW EnBW solar park at Weesow-Wilmersdorf – for a long time the largest solar park in Germany – they are part of a regional solar cluster with a total output of almost 500 MWp. Together, all three projects are able to supply around 140,000 households with environmentally friendly solar power.
An excellent lighthouse project on the way to the energy transition!
“Our Tracker is 30 Percent Lighter”
Our adapted tracking system “1P” for fitting with a single large-format module will be launched on to the market in the next few months. Find out what our main concern was during development and for which application this system is ideal in this interview with Christian Salzeder, CSO Projects at the Schletter Group.
Mr. Salzeder, how does the new, compact tracker variant differ from the previous tracker?
The adapted tracker is specially designed for use with a single large-format and bifacial module per table. The background to this is the trend towards ever larger and more powerful modules. Modules up to three square meters in size can be mounted vertically on the 1P tracker. This makes it possible to use smaller areas, in particular, more efficiently. Our large tracker, on the other hand, is designed more for a maximum sail width of up to five meters. The row spacing can be correspondingly large, which makes it interesting for use on agricultural land.
What did you focus on when adapting the tracker?
Maximum efficiency in material use and costs is playing an increasingly important role, and that was one of the key aspects in our development work. Our compact tracking system uses less material per kilowatt of power – it is around 30 percent lighter than comparable models from our competitors. This is an important point at the moment because of high logistical and transport costs. It can also be installed very quickly and easily. In addition, there is the market trend resulting in extraordinary demand for tracking systems for single-panel configurations.
What has been changed technically?
The adapted version has the same design advantages as the existing tracker. One problem with many tracking systems is wind-induced vibrations along the entire length of a row. We are able to eliminate this phenomenon completely by using a self-locking mechanism. The system is thus as stable as a fixed installation and can withstand wind speeds of well over 200 km/h. With a stow position between 0 and 9 degrees of inclination, fewer forces also act on the frame and modules in strong winds. Our competitors often have to set their tracking systems to 30 degrees at maximum wind speed. This increases the forces on modules and substructure enormously. Our development, on the other hand, not only helps to save costs, but also to ensure the safety of the modules at all times.
(Photo: Christian Salzeder | Schletter Group)
FixGrid Pro: Less Ballast Thanks to Sophisticated Aerodynamics
The trend in roof systems is moving increasingly towards larger and more powerful PV modules. This raises the question of how this development affects existing mounting systems. Do larger modules generally have to be ballasted more?
The answer is clearly no. Of decisive importance is that the new systems are optimized in wind tunnel tests. This was emphasized by Dr.-Ing. Cedrik Zapfe, CTO of the Schletter Group, and Manuel Schwarzmaier, Sales Manager of the Schletter Group, in a recent webinar of “PV Magazine”.
The starting point for these tests is the “Reference paper on the design of solar mounting systems on the basis of wind tunnel tests”. In collaboration with aerodynamics experts, the German Solar Industry Association has with this document created the first standardized procedure in Germany for calculating wind loads and ballasts for flat roof systems.
In this way, we have also optimized our FixGrid Pro flat roof system. Compared to the old system, you can now save up to ten percent on ballast thanks to improved aerodynamics – even though the system will offer you even more freedom in the future with different inclination angles, configuration types and module sizes.
References of the Month
Three open-area projects with a combined output of almost 4,000 kWp were recently connected to the grid in Estonia. The most powerful plant with 2,016 kWp is located in the north of the country, in the village of Lepalaane on the Baltic coast. The other two projects in Pilka and Tuuliku have a capacity of 1,440 and 288 kWp respectively.
Our tracker, with four modules mounted horizontally on top of each other, is used at all three locations. One challenge during planning was the snow loads that had to be considered due to the particularly long and snowy winters in these regions.
Figure of the Month
350 soccer fields
… large is the EnBW solar park Gottesgabe and Alttrebbin. Record for Schletter and record for Germany!