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Ballasted racking from PowerField Energy scales up to utility-scale installation – pv magazine International


PowerRack is PowerField’s transportable, ballasted racking system utilized in residential, business, industrial, and now utility-scale photo voltaic.

From pv journal USA

An concept that began with PowerField Power co-founder David Flory and Paul Burdick tinkering in a storage is now a rising firm scaling manufacturing, funding and challenge pipeline. Each Flory and Burdick come from photo voltaic backgrounds and aimed to discover a easy, inexpensive racking answer. That tinkering led to the event of the PowerRack, which is an injection-molded high-density polyethylene container that may be crammed on web site and used to mount photo voltaic panels of just about any measurement, with out crucial instruments.

pv journal USA spoke with Drew Bond, co-founder and chief govt officer, Patrick Fleming, chief operations officer, and Corbin Abshier, director of enterprise growth, on the historical past of PowerRack. One of many first installations of PowerRack was on the Nationwide Renewable Power Lab in Golden, Colo., the place they put a two-year take a look at mannequin. To this point, the corporate has put in PowerRacks supporting greater than 4 MW of residential and business photo voltaic in addition to transportable installations, such because the one at this 12 months’s Coachella music competition.

In seven years, the Virginia-based firm has scaled manufacturing a number of occasions, raised $1.3 million in funding and is now elevating a Collection A for $5 million to extend gross sales, manufacturing, and product growth. for international distribution.

In 2022 the corporate landed its first utility-scale contract for an set up in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania the place the developer, Infinite Power, had challenges round web site situations and environmental considerations and was unable to amass of builders the challenge on the ending line. The developer has already sunk some huge cash into the challenge, so that they want an answer that can get the challenge up and operating as shortly and effectively as doable.

As soon as the contract was signed, it was delayed for a 12 months on account of allowing points, however as soon as authorised, the PowerRacks had been put in, and the modules had been mounted in 4 weeks. The challenge is in a ShopRite retailer, the place 8,800 PowerRacks comprise 4,400 Hanwha Qcells 480 W photo voltaic modules in a 2.1 MW system, powering greater than 85% of the shop’s power wants.

In line with Fleming, the positioning has groundwater points and there are exploratory effectively tools on the positioning that must be prevented, so getting in with a standard racking system will not work. The developer has already sunk some huge cash into the challenge, so that they want an inexpensive answer. PowerRacks met their wants, and whereas the challenge was ten occasions bigger than something PowerField had performed earlier than, they mentioned they solely wanted to have one area worker on web site to get the job performed.

The racking is dropped at the positioning as empty 15-pound plastic containers, full of any dry unfastened combination materials reminiscent of gravel or crushed stone. The photo voltaic modules slide simply into the racking and are held in place with clips. The clips are connected by hand, with out the necessity for instruments. When it is time to decommission the photo voltaic set up, the modules are eliminated, the racking is emptied, and it may be faraway from the positioning and recycled.

PowerRacks had been additionally used to mount a brief photo voltaic set up to energy the lighting on the Coachella music competition held in April in Indio, California. Overdrive Power Options selected PowerRack after seeing them at a commerce present and considering their portability would meet their wants. Neel Vasavada, founder and president of Overdrive mentioned a crew of 4 put in 15 kW of photo voltaic distributed throughout ten places.

“And we have by no means used the product earlier than. It took us 10 min. one location – much less time than it takes to function a gasoline generator,” he mentioned.

When the competition was over and it was time to disassemble the momentary photo voltaic set up, Vasavada defined that “disassembly” can’t be utilized in the identical approach as different merchandise right here.

“We use PowerRack primarily as a result of there’s no disassembly of the racks themselves, apart from eradicating the plastic locking items after eradicating the panels,” he mentioned.

With PowerRacks being transportable and sitting above floor, installers have a number of choices in the case of cable administration. Fleming famous that there’s a channel within the rack the place the cables are positioned alongside the sidewalls of the rack and up below the modules, as in any system. Cables could be run above floor utilizing cable hangers or messenger cables, or the positioning could be trenched if that’s extra handy for set up.

To this point, PowerField has offered its racks in 38 states, with clients starting from electrical utilities to owners. The corporate has lately expanded its manufacturing capability to satisfy rising demand and PowerField is growing future variations of the PowerRack to accommodate extra modules, completely different pitch angles and different distinctive options. buyer necessities.

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