During the initial installation of the screws we encountered hardened sedimentary rock called caliche – something typical for the Western USA . Therefore we had to change plans and had to pre-drill holes to be able to get the screw into the ground. Lesson learned – a geotechnical analysis has to take all aspects into account – especially if cut/fill plans are changing the topology of the site.
This project needed 12000 screws to be installed. The schedule was demanding and so we had to work day and night to reach the goals. Some of the screws were tested to the highest standards – static tests for multiple days to confirm the load bearing capacity.
In 2013 trackers were still kind of a novelty. The system used was designed to eliminate grading by following the lay of the land. Each tracker row in a block was connected through a central drive to pivot the modules. Since then tracker technology has evolved – less foundations, lighter materials and smarter design combined with latest installation methodologies have positioned solar tracker as the leading solution for solar utility projects.
It’s not only hot in the desert – it can be very cold, very stormy and very dry. The pictures shows you that dust control is very important – not only to protect team members but also to comply with local codes. Infractions can cost $5000 the first time and will skyrocket after that. The reason is clear to avoid dust storms like the one from 2016 which hit Phoenix. Besides that you need to watch out for rattle snakes, gila monsters and everything which crawls around.
It is very gratifying for all project members to see the finished product. At that time you forget all the nights you had to deal with the elements, animals, break ins, thefts, vandalism, technical difficulties and the schedule. More Infos : Valencia