The Alamo 5 Solar project is one of the world’s largest dual-axis tracker systems. This 121.0 MWdc utility-scale solar project is located in Uvalde, TX. The station has a total of 9000 Sun Action Tracker’s and crystalline solar modules by Mission Solar, Jinko and Trina. Each tracker station contains 42 photo voltaic modules, totaling nearly 380,000 modules for the entire site. Project construction began in September of 2015 and was completed in September 2016.
Met One Instruments, provided the meteorological and solar energy monitoring system consisting of 10 tower sites located strategically around the 900-acres of the solar power facility. Each station recorded Wind Speed and Direction, which is critical to ensure that the trackers can each be put into their parked position when wind speed levels are occurring. Parking of each tracker array reduces the possibility of wind damage to the solar tracker assembly. In addition, measurements of temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure are also recorded. For determination of solar power generation and efficiency special solar pyranometers record and measure overall (GHI) Global Horizontal Irradiance levels as well as the (POA) Plane of Array direct solar irradiance level from a precision solar pyranometer mounted on the tracking solar panel array. A Solar Reference Cell Irradiance module provides a direct comparison of photovoltaic module output and this reference cell is made of the same crystalline material. As part of the solar panel efficiency measurement, a pair of temperature sensors are mounted on the back of the solar panels at two locations on the tracker array of 42 photo voltaic modules.
All meteorological and solar irradiance are sent to the central control room using the stations wired and wireless network at the facility.
Similar meteorological stations like this one have been installed around the country as well as at large solar power generation facilities in India, using Met One Instruments meteorological sensors.