Erthos, an Arizona-based startup, has developed a new way to install solar power plants directly on the ground, without the need for mounting structures.
“It takes advantage of the heat absorption properties of the earth, offers unbeatable aerodynamics, and is the lowest cost installation method in the world,” the company said in a statement.
Erthos claims that the new method enables the construction of solar plants in half the time and one-third of the land compared to conventional ground-mounted facilities. The new method also uses 70% fewer cables and trenches, and reportedly reduces installation costs by at least 20%.
Daniel Flaningan, head of marketing and product at Erthos, said the project design only requires light civil engineering. The method is also usable in different topographies, with little to no grading. In addition, projects built under this system can withstand “category 4” hurricanes, according to the company.
The company recently signed an agreement with US developer Industrial Sun LLC for a new solar project of more than 100 MW in Texas.
“As it is an area with minimal developable land, the developer could not install such a large project with conventional solar technologies, which usually require between five and six acres of land per megawatt,” said Erthos. “In contrast, Earth Mount Solar PV typically requires less than 2.5 acres per MW, achieving more than double the energy density of typical systems.”
The company is offering its Earth Mount Solar system with its software platform and long-term energy services, including full operations and maintenance. It also provides robotic cleaning services. In addition to the United States, the company has experience in Latin America, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, and Asia.
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Sounds great ! Maybe it can also be fitted with a giant clear plastic sheet directly on top of the model surface to catch all the dirt and dust, and simply roll right or left to clean them regularly .. should also improve the output .. especially in sunny desert areas ..
Great article, shows tec advances !
Disappointing article because it didn’t explain *why* their claims worked. It seems more like an advertisement than informative article.
I agree with you. We needed an explanation on why it would work and not merely the continents where the company has experience installing solar
How do you protect panels from stray animals etc walking on them
What happens when we get 2-4′ snow or ice. Snow takes weeks to melt.
Novel, but will probably require specialized (maybe even proprietary) equipment to clean the surface of the dust and debris that will regularly accumulate.
Other than that, it is a terrific idea for maximizing watts per area especially in the lower latitudes where tilt isn’t as big a factor.
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