Photovoltaics for conveyor belts


Sinn Power, a German startup specializing in floating PV, and France-based solar module manufacturer Recom have deployed a 1-km solar array on a conveyor belt at a gravel plant in Bavaria, Germany.

Recom supplied 1,760 bifacial heterojunction modules for the project, with each module outputting 470 W. The array has a total capacity of 850 kW and generates 877 W per m. Sinn Power designed and provided the aluminum mounting structure for the project.

The aluminum structure can be used with conveyor belts up to 2.5 m high and is supported by concrete basements. Each mounting structure is 5.5 m long and can host up to 10 solar modules. It features a wind load of 27.5 m/s (99 km/h) (WLZ3) and a snow load of 2.06 kN/m2. The mounting structure can be attached to the existing conveyor belt structure via a clamping system.

Recom stated that the conveyor belt photovoltaic system is designed according to Eurocode 1DIN1991-1-3 and Eurocode DIN1991-1, and that the verification of the system's structural stability is performed by Finite Element Method (FEM) simulation and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis.

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According to the companies, this innovative solution maximizes profitability by directly feeding electricity to the conveyor belt where it is required, without any loss of performance. The aluminum structure is robust and can withstand environmental forces, while being easy to transport and install.

*The article has been amended to reflect that the PV system generates 877 W per m and not per m2, as we previously reported.

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