|Array Structure||Tracker: Dual Axis|
Polycrystalline silicon array, experimental passive dual axis trackers.
The passive dual axis tracker that positions this array does not consume electricity.
Flat plates installed on different sides of the array transfer heat to hydraulic fluids in the tracker’s arms. The fluids will contract and expand in response to this heat, so that the array will be repositioned towards the heat source. This keeps the array oriented towards the sun through the day.
When the liquid cools after sunset, a spring will return the array towards the east.
Two experimental passive hydraulic arrays have been installed.
Note: this experimental technology has not functioned as expected since installation. The array typically faced away from the sun resulting in lower than expected outputs. The hydraulic trackers were also moving erratically and due to occupational health and safety reasons have now been fixed in place, i.e. they are not tracking.
|Number Of Panels||2 x 8|
|Panel Type||Kyocera KD135GX-LP|
|Array Area||2 x 8.02 m²|
|Type Of Tracker||Portasol dual axis|
|Inverter Size / Type||2.5 kW, SMA SB 2500|
|Installation Completed||Tue, 30 Sep 2008|
Notes on the Data
System Disconnection for Cabling Works
All arrays at the Solar Centre were disconnected from approximately 2.00pm to 3.00pm on Monday, 9 July 2018 in preparation for the cable between the main switchboard and distribution board being upgraded. Array sites #23-38 remained disconnected while the main feeder cable to these sites was replaced in subsequent days, but all systems were re-connected by early afternoon on Thursday, 12 July 2018.
Site 4: Connection Restored
After a hiatus owing to external experimentation, array #4 is back online. While power generation is now restored, please note that the hydraulic trackers are still both fixed at a north orientation because the tracking mechanisms are permanently non-operational, as noted previously.
Monitoring Interruption for UPS Battery Replacement
The disconnection and re-connection of the solar arrays and weather station equipment while a new site connection was being established prompted the already flattening UPS batteries which power the site’s energy meters to fail and require immediate replacement. Data recording was affected from approximately 2.30pm ACST, Monday 10 July to 4.00pm, Wednesday 12 July.
Affects weather data for DKASC, Alice Springs
Site 4: System Offline
This array was taken offline in May 2013 and utilized for a separate research project for several years. The site shall be shortly re-established as a fixed north facing array,
System Outage - Sites 4, 5, 17, 20, 22, 34 and 35
On the 5th June 2015, A Friday before a long weekend, seven individual PV systems at the DKASC were switched off by unknown persons and for unknown reasons. The outage was not noted until the following Tuesday when O&M staff returned to work and found the main circuit breakers for sites 4, 5, 17, 20, 22, 34 & 35. turned off. These systems were all turned back on again on the 9th March when the problem was detected.
Site 4: Tracker Fault
The experimental trcaker technology has not functioned as expected since installation. The array typically faced away from the sun resulting in lower than expected outputs. The hydraulic trackers were also moving erratically and due to occupational health and safety reasons have now been fixed in place, i.e. they are not tracking
> Answer to Spotlight Question
Onsite at the DKA Solar Centre in Alice Springs are a series of quiz-like Spotlight Questions at each array. Visit the centre and scan the QR code at each sign to test your knowledge – and check your answer here!
Q: What unexpected liquid is used as the fluid inside this hydraulic tracker's arms?
A: The liquid used inside these hydraulic tracking arms is compressed canola oil, which expands and contracts in response to heat levels – an Australian patented design for tracking the sun without being externally powered (passive system).