Shailesh Vaidya, Co-Founder
The alarming rate of fossil fuel depletion is causing a global shift towards more eco-friendly and sustainable sources of energy. Research and development in technologies to effectively harness solar energy have witnessed predominant focus in recent years. However, the performance of conventional solar payloads depends on the direction of the sun’s rays, making it possible to achieve maximum efficiency only at noon. To overcome this hurdle, solar trackers are used to orient the payload in the sun’s direction. Scorpius Trackers, an India based solar tracking company, creates innovative solutions to help organizations achieve an 18 to 25 percent plus increase in power production as compared to conventional fixed-tilt setups.
Scorpius Trackers’ prowess is in developing innovative yet cost-effective solutions in the field of solar tracking. The trackers are completely self-powered and come integrated with wireless networking systems along with GPS and satellite communication capabilities. This helps the trackers to obtain accurate date and time information as well as establish connectivity with the cloud. Solar payloads are susceptible to heavy rains. To take preventive measures in advance, these trackers are also equipped with pressure sensors to detect the occurrence of storms.
“Scorpius Trackers aims to provide unique mechanical and software tracking solutions to help our clients achieve the lowest cost of power generation per installed kWHr,” explains Shailesh Vaidya, CEO, and co-founder of Scorpius Trackers. Serial entrepreneurs ever since college, Shailesh and his colleague Kiran Shah achieved success through their companies Chroma Systems and Chroma Energy. Kiran’s interest in astronomy and their expertise in the fields of materials and machine control were the impetus for them to venture into solar tracking.
According to Shailesh, the team’s forte is in developing the two main components of solar trackers— state of art electronic control systems and ZERO O&M bearings.
Ever since our first project was commissioned four years ago, it has been running without any downtime, nearly ZERO O&M requirements
The company has created proprietary designs for bearings and other hardware components. Their innovative design boasts of a setup that can remain maintenance-free for over 30 years. The experts at Scorpius develop cutting-edge, in-house technology for PCB design, component selection and also program the embedded systems. The Scorpius team, proficient in multiple disciplines, develops customized solutions that meet their client’s specific requirements. Scorpius also performs advanced testing on all components to ensure durability in adverse environmental conditions. “Ever since our first project was commissioned four years ago, it has been running without any downtime,” explains Shailesh. These capabilities make it possible to recover the initial capital invested in a short span of two to three years.
In an implementation highlight, a 1.1 MWp project in India was set up in less than 14 weeks, 20 percent faster than most other competitors. This project employs centralized controllers and actuators that have the capacity to control up to 800 modules simultaneously. The modules have high structural stability and can handle wind speeds up to 115 mph. The project helped the client reap great benefits by achieving 1.94 MU/MWp generation along with an average annual capacity utilization factor of 21 percent.
Over the past few years, Scorpius has expanded its market presence and is setting up projects in the Middle-East, the U.S., and Africa. They are also planning an aggressive expansion in South East Asia and have established a plant in Japan to facilitate this. Scorpius has two major developments in the pipeline. The first is rooftop tracking, which is a tracking system that can be fitted on the rooftops of buildings and can maximize the efficiency of solar panels. The next is the incorporation of robot-controlled module cleaning systems. “Our success stems from the research-oriented approach and the innovation lab where our R&D Engineers develop cost-efficient and innovative solutions at a rapid pace,” concludes Shailesh.