Reducing the cost of solar farms by up to 30 per cent

A design borne out of the construction of the Williamsdale Solar Farm is an entry in the Henty Machine of the Year.

The Xirasol Dual Axis Solar Tracking system is a world first design offering greater output and designed and manufactured in Albury-Wodonga using mostly Australian steel.

The dual axis output with bifacial solar panels provides up to 62 per cent more power than a roof or fixed mount, and up to 30 per cent more output then a single axis tracking system.

Designed by Allan Brady and Glenn Melton, the one megawatt or 30 rows of 14 array frames can run off two reliable SEW motors.

The spherical bearing design results in reduced maintenance, making it ideal for irrigators, dairies, wineries and factories.

Post heights can be increased allowing for crops and livestock under the tracking system.

“Sheep and grass can exist under the design while dairies can switch heating water to during the day instead of expensive off peak,” Mr Melton said.

“Irrigators and wineries can get an extended irrigation period away from expensive peak power which can be up to 40c/kWh.

“It is designed to produce a solar output close to normal business operating hours of factories and produces the solar output later in the summer days when air conditioning is mostly required.

“The system has easy to use automated software following the sun’s path with an algorithm from NASA and added back tracking and solar sensing to maximise output on cloudy days.”

Mr Melton said Xirasol could bring down the cost of large scale solar farms and power by up to 30 per cent.

“It’s reduced land footprint when constructing solar farms results in less trenches and cables, and a smaller land area with reduced roads and fences,” he said.

“The advanced design allows for simple installation in the field and can be installed using 20 per cent of the current workforce required to install a solar farm.”