September 28, 2022
Hot Rolled products
At Gonvarri Solar Steel, a leading manufacturer of trackers and fixed structures, we are continuously working to improve both the CAPEX of our products and the LCOE of the projects, paying special attention to how our structural elements interact with the rest of the executed activities and components of the photovoltaic installation.
In this blog we will go deeper into the advantage of using hot-rolled profiles in the piles of our tracker family: TracSmarT+ 2V (single-row) and TracSmarT+ 1V (single- and dual-row).
For a better understanding, hot-rolled piles are those whose final shape has been given “hot” with a train of rollers directly in the steel mill, at very high temperatures that allow the steel bars to be malleable. Their typology is wide and standardized. Their use generally depends on the country and application. From now on we will call them “W”, although as we have said, there are many different formats compatible with our trackers: UPN, IPE, HEB, etc…
On the other hand, cold-formed profiles are those formed at room temperature from steel sheet in coils, in a roll forming machine that has a roller system. The types of section that can be obtained are very diverse, so for this type of piles we will use from now on the denomination “C”, which is the most used section for trackers as well as for fixed structures.
The use of W-piles instead of C-piles provides us with certain advantages that we can summarize as follows:
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Minimization of rejections in driving:
The use of W-profiles allows to reduce the CAPEX of a photovoltaic installation as far as foundation execution works are concerned. W-profiles are more robust in driving than C-profiles, allowing direct driving, depending on the type of terrain, where C-profiles could twist and therefore must opt for a more costly drilling or pre-drilling option. In addition, due to the driving process itself, W-profiles are subject to less deformation at the pile head, thus minimizing the number of on-site machining operations. This on-site improvement is accentuated in markets where labor and machinery costs are higher.
The same design of our 1V and 2V trackers allows both the option of using 100% W piles and a mix of C and W piles. This design is extensible to both structural elements, tracker joints and electromechanical elements. Special attention has been paid to ensure that the rotational head is equally compatible for both types of piles. Therefore, the aerial part of the tracker is compatible and independent of the choice of a C or W pile, facilitating different aspects that will be discussed later.
Also, a W-pile, due to its format and catalog, allows in some cases, that the same section can cover a wider spectrum of corrosion protection facilitating the use of fewer different types of sections and that these can be used in different compatible locations complying with the design life of the solar tracker.
Our IPS (Intelligent Piling System), which aims to minimize earth movement by using different height ranges in the piles, benefits from the use of W-profiles: the variability of different resulting sections along the photovoltaic installation covering the different topographic irregularities will be less and thus facilitating the work of identifying piles and installing them by reducing the number of references used.
In today’s complex situations: geopolitical, supply and logistical this factor becomes even more important. Having a tracker that is 100% compatible with C and W piles increases the supply chain and thus guarantees the supply of the project, a key factor Gonvarri Solar Steel.
About Gonvarri Solar Steel
Gonvarri Solar Steel, Gonvarri Solar Steel, a company of Gonvarri Industries, is dedicated to the design and supply of trackers and fixed structures for the photovoltaic energy sector.
Solar Steel has supplied more than 16GW in projects around the world. Throughout its history, Gonvarri Solar Steel has focused its efforts on offering its customers comprehensive solutions according to their product and service needs. For more information, please visit:
About Gonvarri Industries
Gonvarri Industries has 6,000 employees in more than 19 countries through 45 factories, 20 distribution centres and offices from which it supplies metal solutions for the Metal Structures, Service Centers, Material Handling and Precision Tubes sectors. For more information, please visit www.gonvarri.com