Hydro Aluminum will put Aluminum – which it calls the metal of the future – in the spotlight at its exhibition at Solar Power International 2012 in Orlando. The company says many of the technical qualities of the light metal are relevant for a range of applications linked to the solar industry, making aluminum highly competitive in comparison with other metals and other materials.
Hydro provides extruded aluminum in North America, including supply sourcing, extrusion, finishing, and fabrication of components, as well as contract manufacturing services, for a variety of industries, such as solar. The company has delivered solutions for some of the largest solar-related projects in North America.
Two recent projects – one in Mexico, the other in Tennessee – underline the value of Hydro’s aluminum solutions to the whole of the project.
• Precision-extruded aluminum framing systems are being utilized at the largest concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar facility in Latin America, in Durango, Mexico. Extruded aluminum offers efficient material utilization, low capital costs and short development times. In addition, its corrosion resistance and high stiffness to resist wind are supporting the system’s accuracy and robustness. Hydro delivered the systems to Skyline Solar. “Our engineering teams together removed 40 percent of the structural material used in early frame prototypes, thus reducing Skyline’s costs for raw materials, manufacturing and shipping,” says Hydro’s Allan Bennett.
• Four new solar fields – part of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s renewable energy program – are using extruded aluminum rails on a mounting system for a “maximum light detection” system. This dual-axis tracking system, designed by DEGERenergie, aligns the solar modules to the brightest source in the sky to guarantee maximum yield. The system requires stiffness, yet flexibility, in the tracker. “The design calls for tight tolerances. We are looking at other alloys that might help us make it even tighter than the customer originally wanted,” says Bennett.
More information about these projects and others will be available at the Hydro stand, which will be located in booth #1063.