Slewing drives can make solar trackers more efficient and functional, but they need to be mounted appropriately for maximum, reliable use. When a slew drive isn’t mounted square and level on its base, it can add tension to the whole system. This can lead to fatigue and cause damage in a short amount of time.
Additionally, the post or pillar the slewing drive is mounted on has to also be precisely positioned for maximum performance over time. Achieving the proper alignment requires time-consuming and complex installation, which includes the machining of adjustment instruments, such as shims, washers, and ovular holes.
To avoid these issues, Kinematics has designed and created a new spherical adjusting mount for slewing drives attached to solar trackers. This mount is easily installed on an I-beam, column, or tubular post in the field and adjusts simultaneously in three directions of orientation. It allows operators to easily align a mounted slewing drive to make sure it is square and level, even if the post isn’t perfectly positioned.
Without having to worry too much about the post and whether it’s perpendicular to the ground, installation can be quicker, which can save time and money. The quick aligning and mounting features also ensure there are no residual stresses in the system, preventing elements along the line from breaking down prematurely.
The spherical adjusting mount is attached to a slewing drive containing a housing with a bottom side. This mounting structure is made up of a plate assembly, concave base plate, post coupling, clamp ring, and fasteners that couple the plate assembly and clamp ring together. The fasteners can be bolts, screws, or clips, or the post coupling can be secured in position by welding or gluing the pieces together.
Because the fasteners can easily move between the clamped and unclamped positions, they can prevent or allow relative movement between the plate assembly, clamp ring, and base plate. When the slewing drive needs adjustments, the mounting structure can be loosened to the unclamped position to allow for accurate positioning. The spherical surfaces of the plates form a socket that makes realignment a simple task. Once the slew drive is in place on the post, the fasteners can be tightened back to the clamped position and will stay secure until unclamped again.
The spherical adjusting mount is available on all Kinematics VE slew drives, which are most frequently used in single-axis solar trackers to maintain stability and precision placement. These fully-enclosed, vertical drives require no extra components to mount, and with the new spherical adjusting base, require minimal time and effort to align trackers appropriately for direct solar energy consumption.