EAST VALLEY, Ariz. — Oldcastle Precast, a U.S. manufacturer of precast concrete, has teamed with DEGERenergie, a Germany-based producer of sensor-controlled solar tracking systems.
The partnership built a solar tower to power a pair of Boys and Girls Clubs in East Valley and Chandler, Ariz.
The joint venture with Oldcastle is rone of the first undertakings that photovoltaic manufacturer DEGERenergie has undertaken in the states since the company announced plans to enter the U.S. market a year ago, according to reports.
The system for the Boys and Girls Clubs employs an octagonal precast foundation from Oldcastle, and a dual-axis solar tracking system from DEGERenergie.
Oldcastle sought out DEGERenergie for the partnership in an effort to improve the German firm’s solar tower foundation system, according to reports. DEGERenergie then suggested that Oldcastle supply the foundations for the solar panel project they were completing for the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Oldcastle redesigned and engineered the octagonal ballasted solar foundation for the project and teamed up with international chemical firm BASF to come up with a method that didn’t involve bolting the mast to the foundation to secure the solar array, as is typically done in such installations.
The result was ballasted foundations that were lighter by 10,000 lbs, and that use 50 percent less reinforcing, says Larry Miller, structural engineer with Oldcastle. The entire system could also be installed in two days, compared with typical cast-in-place projects that typically have a 14-28 day cure time, he said.
“The precast ballasted foundations are lighter by 10,000 pounds, use 50 percent less reinforcing, and the entire system can be installed in two days, including the racking and panels, whereas cast in place has an additional 14- to 28-day cure time,” Miller says.
DEGERenergie has selected the project as a showpiece for its training and marketing programs in the U.S., according to Miller.
For more information about Oldcastle solar projects, visit oldcastleprecast.com/solar.