Trabant Solar’s Ballast Foundation is an innovative solution to combat a variety of issues found on most solar project site. Most single-axis trackers require a project site to be completely level, which is a time consuming process and results in significant amounts of dust throughout the life of the project. The Ballast Foundation sits on top of the soil and supports a single-axis tracker that is an independent unit. As a result, the amount of grading is often not required or at most consists of minimal “cut and fill grading”. Allowing the top soil to remain intact will allow grass to grow that will minimize dust on the project site during its’ operational life.
meets the toughest wind speed requirements.
The Ballast Foundation has been successfully used in Palm Beach County, FL, where the wind speed requirement of 155mph was easily satisfied.
no soil testing required.
Geo-technical analysis are a no longer required, because the Foundation does not enter the soil. The structural analysis does not change based on the local soil conditions, which will save time and money for any project.
Trabant Solar's trackers can be utilized on land with a gradient of up to 20° without having to perform grading. The elimination of grading may enable the use of land, where grading would not be feasible or permitted.
eliminate foundation settlement issues.
Ramming post foundations have the issue of settling differently throughout the field of the Solar Project. This is especially problematic for single-axis trackers on ramming post foundations that support a central axis or torque tube for 10 feet or more. This can results in foundations settling differently over the span of the long central axis or torque tube. The resulting movement will either can cause structural damage to the tracker, or prevent the tracker from operating properly. In either case, the foundations of these trackers have to be repaired before they can function properly.
Trabant Solar's tracker is not affected by this problem. The Ballast Foundation sits on top of the soil, which allows the tracker to move up and down in unisom with the movement of the soil. Trabant Solar's tracker has been tested in Canada, where the project site is affected by frost heave, which can result in soil movement between 10 and 14 inches over a given year. These Trabant Solar trackers have run continuously for several years without being impacted by the frost heave or snow load.
simple and inexpensive decommissioning.
Decommissioning of solar projects will become a more important role in the permitting phase over the next few years. It is an issue that should not unnecessarily be ignored for future managers and engineers to solve. Ramming post foundations have to be dug out of or left in the ground. Removing thousands of ramming posts is an expensive endeavor.
The Ballast Foundation makes decommissioning easy and inexpensive. The entire tracker can be disassembled without having to dig. The Ballast Foundation sits on top of the soil, which makes it simple and convenient to remove from the project site.
U.S. Patent No. 9,057,546
TRACKER MODELS WITH A BALLASTED STEEL PAN FOUNDATION:
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