These hinged, folding solar arrays allow for a ridiculously quick and easy installation at industrial scale. Earlier this year, Australian company 5B set a solar speed record. A team of 10 covered the area of a soccer field with a 1.1 MW array in a single day.
5B Maverick is an Australian-designed ground mount solar solution designed to be safer, more cost effective and faster to deploy for off-grid, commercial and industrial, and large-scale solar power generation, compared to traditional single axis solar trackers or comparable solar racking solutions.
Robust and re-deployable, each 5B Maverick array consists of up to 90 solar panels, mounted on specially designed racks, and optimized for the workhorse 540-550W module class of the utility scale solar industry
How the 5B folding solar array works
The 5B Maverick blocks are pre-assembled and pre-wired at a factory, then packed vertically so that four blocks can be fitted into a standard 40 foot shipping container with a total weight of under the maximum 6 tonne payload. Once onsite 5B Mavericks blocks can be easily unloaded and expanded into a ground-mount East-West solar array, requiring minimal ground penetration, and no need for cable trenching or significant ground work.
As a result, 5B Mavericks can be significantly faster and safer to deploy than traditional single axis solar trackers, or comparable solar racking solutions, and require fewer people on-site.
The company says it’s not just the fastest array to install – it’s also much easier to pack down and move than other designs, making it appropriate for non-permanent sites. An industrial-scale array that can be deployed so quickly using so few workers is definitely a big advantage.
Benefits of the 5B Maverick folding solar array
- Safe: Reduced deployment times, less heavy equipment, and less onsite labor can result in a significant improvement in the safety for solar farm deployment, particularly when compared to traditional single axis solar trackers, or comparable solar racking solutions.
- Cost effective: Efficiencies in assembly, deployment and logistics can result in lower cost of megawatt hour of energy when compared to traditional single axis solar trackers, or comparable solar racking solutions.
- Fast deployment: The pre-wired, pre-configured, solar farm in-a-box design can deliver significant reductions in deployment times, when compared to fixed-mount and trackers.
- Low onsite labor: Significant reductions in the onsite labor requirements and the cost of civil works associated with traditional solar farm construction in sites.
- Powerful: No corridors, no moving parts and minimal gaps between structures means you can get the same energy output as you would from fixed-mount trackers on significantly less land.
The road ahead for 5B Maverick solar solution
5B is already shipping internationally. In fact, its record-setting deployment in May was done in Chile. The company has already deployed the Maverick solution at numerous sites, with a total generation capacity over 60 MW, and it’s also moving to build a manufacturing and assembly hub in North America.