Disruptive 1.5-axis trackers improve on-site solar power generation for hotels and resorts

A development partnership with Club Med for HeliosLite’s first tracking system has provided valuable information for optimizing the novel energy solution for hotels and solar-diesel hybrid microgrids.

An increasing number of hotels and resorts generate at least a part of their electricity on-site with renewable energy power plants. The new HeliosLite/THEnergy white paper “1.5-axis tracker technology for auto-consumption of hotels and resorts” shows that a new tracker concept improves the energy yield and cost of electricity.

A development partnership with Club Med’s Europe – Africa Technical Department has given HeliosLite excellent insights into the requirements of the hospitality sector regarding solar power plants. As a consequence, the new tracking system is also optimized in respect of land use and movability. “In cooperating with Club Med, we have learned more about the electricity consumption of hotels and resorts. We are looking forward to also testing our disruptive 1.5-axis tracker with Club Med,” says Jay Boardman, CEO and Co-founder of HeliosLite SAS, who adds, “Our new trackers allow for increased power generation in the mornings and in the evenings when power consumption in most hotels is high.” Typically, air-conditioning, restaurants, lighting and pumping are the main-consumers of electricity at hotels and resorts.

The 1.5-axis tracker has not only proven its robustness in wind channel tests, but it is also easy to install and relocate. “We are looking at solutions that are flexible and cost competitive,” underlines Claude Blondel, manager of Club Med’s “Energy Mission”. “One of the objectives is to off-set local power outages with solar energy in regions where the grid is not stable.”

Numerous hotels and resorts are located in remote sites without access to grid electricity or in countries where the grid is not stable. Under these conditions, diesel generator sets are often used to generate electricity or provide back-up power for hotels and resorts. Electricity from diesel is typically very expensive and solar energy presents an excellent business case for reducing diesel consumption. More and more hotels and resorts are looking at generating green electricity with solar and wind power plants on-site. “This development is also triggered by factors beyond costs”, explains Thomas Hillig, managing director of the consultancy THEnergy. “On their holidays, tourists do not want to smell diesel fumes or listen to the noise of gensets. The pressure on hotels to turn toward green power is increasing.”

This white paper shows that the new 1.5-axis trackers can significantly contribute to this development. The solution is also interesting for other off- or weak grid solutions and owing to its scalability suitable for utility-scale solar power plants. For further information, have a look at the white paper: http://www.th-energy.net/english/platform-renewable-energy-on-islands/reports-and-white-papers/

Lead picture: Utility-scale project example with HeliosLite trackers. Credit: HeliosLite SAS.

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Hillig founded THEnergy in 2013. THEnergy is a specialized business consultancy that focuses on innovation in the energy sector, such as microgrids, solar-diesel hybrid, energy storage and hydrogen. THEnergy has developed sophisticated tools to support its clients in product launches and growth strategies. During the last six years, THEnergy has consulted leading multinational utilities, oil and gas companies, and start-ups regarding energy strategy, due diligence, market intelligence, and communication. THEnergy combines Hillig’s previous experiences working at Alstom Power in conventional energy generation and at Innotech Solar. At the beginning of his career, Hillig consulted leading companies from the transport, telecommunication and construction sectors.

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