In August, Array Technologies filed a complaint against Exosun for patent infringement. Array Technologies says that Exosun has not been licensed to practice U.S. Patent No. 8,459,249, of which Array Technologies was awarded on June 11, 2013. Array Technologies is seeking damages.
Patent No. 8,459,249 gives Array Technologies founder and CEO Ron Corio a patent on a “single axis solar tracking system” that uses a single motor to rotate multiple rows of panels, decreasing cost and increasing long-term reliability. This patent is essentially on a centralized system that uses fewer motors to run more rows of panels.
Array Technologies claims specifically that the Exosun’s Exotrack HZ tracker infringes on Array Technologies’ patent on a “single driving apparatus for rotating a plurality of linked drive shafts configured to drive mechanically linked multiple rows of individual solar tracking assemblies,” among other things.
There are other centralized trackers on the market, including those produced by Schletter, SunLink and Sun Action Trackers, but their mechanical designs are different, as explained in the graphic above.
Greentech Media reported, also in August, that France-headquartered Exosun had entered receivership and was financially restructuring. Receivership allows a company to preserve property during the time needed to prosecute a lawsuit, although the French version of receivership is akin to bankruptcy proceedings. Exosun president Frédéric Conchy told GTM the company was in receivership to “find new investors” while safely operating the company as it continues to grow.
GTM Research tracked global PV tracking market shares by shipments in 2016 and found that Array Technologies held 17% of the market while Exosun came in at 1%.
The patent infringement claim is working its way through the court, and dispositive motions are due by December 14, 2018.