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FNX an Innovative Tangential Solar Tracker

Authors:
FNX an Innovative Tangential Solar Tracker
Paolo Valente
VT Energy Innovation, info@vtenergyinnovation.it, Torino, Italia
Introduction
Climate change is a rapidly evolving situation and many nations are shifting their energy dependency to renewable
energies, with the goal of complying with the Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement. To face the growing
energy demand is one of the crucial challenges that faces us in the future. This is shown by the limitations with each
country’s policies that restrict how power plants are built and by the raising awareness that sustainable transportation
will consume more and more renewable energies to leverage the spread of zero emission vehicles.
Nowadays solar parks need large spaces that occupy vast swaths of land, creating a space constraint to scaling up the
number of plants. Less green and more blue.
The FNX project can open new landscapes in photovoltaic development. The main goal is to broaden the field for solar
tracking systems, making the self use market more competitive, while safeguarding green spaces as much as possible.
This approach will bring companies to the forefront of the transition to cleaner energies thanks to the increased
efficiency and raising public awareness thanks to the space sharing implemented in the “Urban Solar Park”.
FNX Solar Tracking System
The initial idea is to build solar concentration systems on the roof of industrial plants, through a solar tracking system
that has to be easy to install and to produce, while displaying an original and recognizable design ( figures1, 2).
The true innovation that characterizes FNX is in the lack of a support beam and the option to modulate it to powers
multiple of 1400W ( figure 3).
Project Definition
In designing a new solar tracking system we analyzed all the components that define FNX: production of structural
components, controllers, actuators, the dish, the receiver, and the maintenance needed to ensure the overall health of the
system. Aside from the receiver, all the components have been chosen to be easy to produce without advanced
machinery, and with widely available commercial technology, with the goal of having the widest supplier pool. As a
consequence, starting from its electrical components, all the tracking systems evaluated are compatible with the FNX
system.
Prototype
In the prototype shown below ( figures 4) we used as actuators for the elevation system linear 2000N motors which are
easy to find. Similarly, for the Azimuth system we chose a simple reduced motor, also easy to purchase.
For the parabolic mirror we selected a small size product that facilitates production, transportation, and assembly: the
dimensions of the mirror when disassembled in 4 pieces is of 1 square meter each. This makes it easy to produce and
transport. This is aimed at achieving a power of 1400W and a concentration of 1000 Suns, thanks to a receiver with a
6x6 cells matrix.
The structure of the FNX system is quite simple: starting from the base, a ring of dimensions between 1.6 and 2 meters
in diameter, which supports the cradle. The cradle in turn supports the elevation system, consisting in two curved beams
on which it’s placed the parabolic mirror. As shown in the images, this structure is easy to produce and maintain, while
being light and resilient.
Other Possible Applications
From the realization of the Solar Urban Park (figures 5) to the localized hydrogen production, the FNX system allows
the use of solar tracking in a more accessible and modular way than its competitors, optimizing the potentials of this
technology.
Kind Regards,
Paolo Valente
Figure 1. FNX system rendering Figure 2. FNX system rendering
Figure 3. Examples of FNX modules, from 1.4 Kw to 2.8 Kw
Figure 4. Prototype of FNX system, consisting int he base, the motor, the cradle, the elevation system, and the dish..
Figure 5. Example of Solar Urban Park. In this image we see the usage in a urban environment, with 3 units each star. The stars
can then be positioned to form a constellation (in the image the Phoenix). Integration in the urban environment gives a chance to produce energy
while involving the local population.

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