Project Description

7700 Series Solar Panel


Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, User Experience, Industrial

Slashing the Cost of the World’s Largest Solar Panel

After designing the world’s largest pedestal-mounted solar panel power system, Amonix turned to Nectar to make its deployment more cost-effective. At 77-feet-wide by 49-feet-tall, the Amonix 7700 CPV is the largest pedestal-mounted solar panel to be manufactured. To make the panel more affordable for utility-scale deployments, the company needed to reduce the cost of the panel’s support structure.

Engineered to Last, but Using Less Material

Amonix tasked Nectar with reducing the production costs for its MegaModule® support structure while ensuring absolutely no falloff in performance. The project was particularly challenging because Nectar needed to optimize the design to reduce weight and improve fabrication processes while ensuring that the structure could withstand the extremes of its potential operating environments, which range from dry, hot deserts to cold, windy mountaintops. The MegaModule had to use less material—as well as being easier to manufacture—yet be engineered to last. Trial-and-error prototyping of the massive structure was not an option.

Pushing Simulation Technology to the Limits

Drawing on the research, engineering, and manufacturing expertise of its talented staff, Nectar undertook the challenge of optimizing the MegaModule. The firm’s analyst performed more than 100 structural, fatigue, buckling, and deflection simulations to optimize the panel’s support structure. Using advanced integrated finite element analysis tools, Nectar redesigned the MegaModule to use less material and withstand the load conditions associated with wind, snow, seismic events, high humidity, and wide temperature fluctuations, all while ensuring the exacting stability required to concentrate the sun’s rays through the panel’s large CPV lens onto a one-inch-square solar cell. Nectar also developed additional system improvements in weather sealing, adaptive panel support, and overseas shipping configurations.

Cut Production Costs by 24 Percent

Nectar achieved Amonix’s objective, slashing production costs for the MegaModule support structure by a whopping 24 percent. The optimized MegaModule design fully complies with the requirements of ASCE Code 7-05 for withstanding extreme temperature, humidity, wind, snow, and seismic events. In addition to reducing material usage while ensuring performance, Nectar improved the system’s fabrication, assembly, distribution, and installation. Nectar’s work put the world’s largest pedestal-mounted solar panel on an affordable yet solid foundation.