Mount Olive Solar
Mount Olive, NJ United States | 2022
Within the last five years, solar energy has found a dynamic and established role in today’s clean energy economy. Farmers around the globe are beginning to invest in solar technology because of heightened operating costs and an ability to manage these fees into the future of their farm.
Hot-dip galvanizing remained the complementary solution to the structure of the panels because of its cost effectiveness, strength, aesthetic appeal and longevity.
For many growers, the corners of their fields that go untouched can be troublesome. This land typically goes unused if not maintained and can quickly become a source of contamination to surrounding fields. Watering these unused areas can be time consuming, requiring other expenses that farmers simply can’t afford.
A farm located in Murtaugh, ID implemented the perfect solution to this problem by installing solar trackers in each unused corner. This advantageous approach will be less expensive than maintaining the corners by watering with other methods.
Knowing that these solar panels would be vulnerable to the weather, the exposed steel required protection to maintain its integrity 25 years down the road. Hot-dip galvanizing remained the complementary solution to the structure of the panels because of its cost effectiveness, strength, aesthetic appeal and longevity. About 80% of the project was galvanized, including the tracker foundation or upright posts, tracker arms and much of the hardware. This sustainable approach will more than double the life of the steel, ensuring there will be minimal maintenance down the road.
The steel design and strength are unique to other trackers because of its bi-facial capabilities. Having solar cells on both the front and the back allows for the system to capture some of the energy that bounces off the ground. To account for wind precautions, the farmer can control the panels so that they lay flat.
Various challenges including steel shortages, expenses to truck, the material, and hauling from Alabama to Idaho required fluid communication across the teams involved. The galvanizer was able to meet all deadlines set by the customer and produce a quality product that will last well into the future of the farm. Choosing to hot-dip galvanize the solar trackers guarantees that generational farms will continue to reach profitability with this sophisticated approach in agriculture.
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Murtaugh, ID United States
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