NORD Tracks the Sun

NORD DRIVESYSTEMS motors have been selected to position and securely hold solar panels on photovoltaic plants in Northern Germany. Energy efficiency was NORD DRIVESYSTEMS key success factor as the solar panels track and follow the sun over the course of the day.

Intelligent tracking technology from Solarpark Rodenäs GmbH increases the efficiency of photovoltaic plants. It requires robust gearmotors in order to position and securely hold solar modules against strong winds. Commonly available drive units use conventional brakes and require heaters to prevent them from freezing. These are cost and maintenance-intensive components which also increase the energy consumption of the system.

NORD DRIVESYSTEMS better fulfills the requirements for weather-resistance, precision, energy efficiency and economy. Solarpark Rodenäs GmbH specializes in fastening systems for solar panels. Solar cells are most efficient when the sunlight falls onto them vertically. Precise tracking of the sun considerably increases their efficiency; as long as the tracking does not consume too much energy. In addition to systems with a fixed mounting, the company develops manually controlled and fully automatic systems for tracking the sun. For example, Rodenäs Solar Park is the largest outdoor system in Northern Germany with a nominal output of 2 MW.

The tracking control data for sunrise and sunset is calculated on a daily basis. At sunrise, the solar panels turn to the east in order to track the sun over the course of the day. Every 15 minutes, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS motors are activated by an impulse from the central control unit to track the sun for four degrees and then switch off again. Due to the tracking, the solar collectors achieve a 25 to 30% greater efficiency compared to fixed collectors. With a surface of 16 m² each, the panels offer a large area of resistance to the winds from the North Sea.

The gear units from the modular Flexbloc series, which combine two worm gear units, hold the panels in position without additional brakes. They position the panels precisely and firmly against winds which often exceed 60 mph. Over 700 geared motors are doubly protected from the harsh North Sea climate by the corrosion resistant one-piece aluminum housing and a special paint. A high quality synthetic lubricant ensures reliability even at sub-zero temperatures and also minimizes maintenance.

Company background

NORD was founded in 1965 to develop, produce, and market drive technology. As an industry leader ranking # 2 in US & Canada and # 2 as the Global Leader, NORD reaches nearly all markets. With 2400 employees and 35 assembly factories worldwide, sales and support is available in 60+ countries. This ensures short delivery times and services close to you. NORD supplies application-specific concepts and solutions; including but not limited to energy-saving drives. NORD provides wide range of products to meet your needs; such as gearboxes with torque ratings from 8.5 lb-in to 1,770,000 lb-in and electric motors with power ratings from 1/6 HP to 250 HP. In addition, the product line consists of high performance AC Vector Drives and AC Drives for panel mount or distributed motor mount.

NORD Gear Corp

P.O. Box 367 - 800 Nord Drive

Waunakee, WI 53597

HOUDEK Barbara

Phone: + 1 608 849 7300

Fax: + 1 608 849 7367

Getriebebau NORD GmbH & Co. KG

Rudolf-Diesel-Straße 1

22941 Bargteheide/Hamburg



Phone: +49(0) 45 32 / 401 - 360

Fax: +49(0) 45 32 / 401 - 254

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