Hydraulic actuator devices rotate and tilt solar collector assemblies as they track the sun’s motion each day through the desert sky from the new Nevada Solar One power plant – a 64 MW solar energy field spanning more than 300 acres. The actuators also control minor adjustments to the position of the arrays to compensate for the effects of wind pressure, as well as locking them for safe storage against high wind and dust storms.
Located in Boulder City, about 25 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada Solar One is the world’s third largest solar energy field. Spanning more than 300 acres, Solar One will generate approximately 129 million kilowatt hours of solar electricity annually – enough to provide power to 15,000 homes.
At the facility’s energy field, 760 solar collector assemblies, holding approximately 182,000 curved mirrors, are aligned in parallel rows on a north-to-south axis, enabling the single-axis troughs to track the sun from east to west throughout the day ensuring concentrated sunlight.
The Parker system on each of the 760 solar collectors includes one custom Parker HTR300 Series rack and pinion hydraulic actuator, control valves, solenoid valves, pumps, cylinders, seals and wear bands, and pre-bent tubing/fitting assemblies. Each hydraulic actuator drives 12 panels that weigh over 2,000 lb, and each panel has 20 curved mirrors.
The self-contained hydraulic system uses the same fluid to both power the system and to lubricate it. This design will deliver nearly maintenance-free operation for over 20 years. The fluid within the system is self-contained and there are no filters to change‚â€“significantly reducing hydraulic maintenance.
In addition to powering and positioning the solar collectors, the Parker actuators are the primary structural element between the solar panels and the support pylons. The actuators also provide lockdown capabilities with wind load control to 84 mph‚â€“hurricane-force winds‚â€“to protect the solar arrays while in stow.
Parker Hannifin Corporation,Actuator Division
Filed Under: Actuators, Energy management + harvesting, Green engineering, Hydraulic equipment + components, Motion control • motor controls