May 24 (Renewables Now) - Spain-based solar trackers maker Soltec said on Wednesday it is opening a new research and evaluation centre for bifacial tracking at its US headquarters in the city of Livermore, California.
The new facility, to be known as the Bifacial Tracking Evaluation Center (BiTEC), will be assessing installation and control parameter influences on bifacial tracking performance compared to other bifacial photovoltaic (PV) applications. The company noted it is looking into specific output-influencing factors such as module mounting height above grade, rear-side obstructions that cause shading and losses, and varying inter-row spacing distances to measure the effect on albedo.
Soltec’s US research and development (R&D) manager Javier Guerrero, who oversees the BiTEC project, pointed out that there are some variables that can have significant influence in bifacial applications, while they are of minor importance in standard module applications. “With BiTEC, we aim to quantify bifacial yield-gain opportunities that our standard product enables uniquely, and furthermore optimize a bifacial tracking algorithm via comprehensive tracker positioning control to make the most of those opportunities,” he said.
The Spanish firm expects the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to help with the application of simulation models. At the same time, Black & Veatch and The Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC) will use the BiTEC resources in their joint Bifacial Characterization and Ranking Initiative.