FTC Solar  Unveils Next Generation of Voyager Single-Axis Trackers

FTC Solar, a global provider of solar tracker systems, technology, software and engineering services,  has released the  next generation  of its single-axis Voyager tracker – the Voyager+ – engineered to provide compatibility with new large-format solar modules entering the marketplace.  

The large modules entering the market are built to incorporate larger solar cells, which are the energy-producing component of each solar panel. With larger 182 mm and 210 mm cells, the modules can achieve power output exceeding 500 W. FTC Solar says the Voyager+ supports these larger format modules and will be able to accommodate multiple module sizes from a variety of solar manufacturers.   

Large-format modules  are expected to  lower solar project development costs and improve the return on investment for solar developers. According to a Wood Mackenzie industry analysis, labor savings alone could be up to 6% and energy production per acre will  increase – with production gains depending on the module  size and technology.

“We are seeing an increasing level of interest around large-format modules and are pleased to introduce this new Voyager line to support our customers,” says Tony Etnyre, CEO of FTC Solar. “As the  industry  transitions  to larger  modules,  FTC Solar  is  ready to deliver tracking systems that are compatible with a variety of module sizes and configurations, while maintaining our two-in-portrait format and installation speeds.”

The transition to large-format modules is the next step forward in an industry that has been aligned around  smaller  standard module sizes for over a decade. The industry’s  ecosystem of electrical  and structural components has been developed  around these modules and standardization has simplified construction, driving overall system costs down.

The  new large-format modules will continue to drive system-level efficiency improvements, but certain components, including trackers, must undergo design modifications. FTC Solar has  been  collaborating  with module manufacturers to identify  and implement  engineering changes  to  support  larger modules  such as strengthened torque tubes and modified damping  technology.   

FTC Solar is currently conducting tests at its research facility near Denver, Colo., and will be evaluating the performance and structural requirements of a wide variety of large-format modules.  Module manufacturers are  ramping up production of 500 W modules – with 600 W modules  expected to be deployed  in t he second half  of the year.    

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