SkyFuel Inc.Customer Since 2007
ApplicationPrecisely position the parabolic trough to capture maximum solar energy.
Business SituationCrucial to the effective operation of a parabolic trough is the ability to precisely position the concentrator for maximum solar energy capture as the sun moves across the sky. In order to maintain optimum efficiency, the trough must track the sun with precise controls and maintain an accuracy within 0.06 degrees (1.0 mrad) with virtually no variation. The biggest challenge is with controlling very large trough collectors that must maintain tracking efficiency with wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour or sustained winds of up to 25 miles per hour in harsh conditions found in deserts.
SolutionIn response to these challenges, Helac Corporation and Skyfuel Inc., joined forces to introduce OnSun, an integrated tracking, control, and drive system for large solar power systems. OnSun is comprised of two major subsystems, including a helical hydraulic actuator with an exclusive sliding spline design. Helac actuators provide the highest possible output torque of 380,000 in-lbs yet are still capable of rotating the collector assembly in precise 0.1 degree increments through the entire 240 degrees of total rotation. The large contact surface of the helical gearing allows the L30 actuator to provide increased holding torque of up to 1.8 million lin-lbs which eliminates the requirement for the external holding brake mechanism found on competitive drive systems.