Comau has launched its patented Hyperflex mobile factory, which it describes as “a new paradigm in solar blade deployment that facilitates faster photovoltaic plant construction for a time to market savings of up to 25 per cent on new installations”.
Designed in-house and featuring proprietary Comau robotics, lifting equipment and other technology enablers, Hyperflex automatically assembles the entire solar blade, which can measure up to 48 sq m, directly in the photovoltaic field.
In doing so, the robotized temporary mobile factory lowers overall operating costs while granting better operator well-being, process quality and overall productivity when expanding an existing plant or installing a new one.
Furthermore, Hyperflex’s flexible design can accommodate different types of trackers and panels, allowing it to easily adapt to the specific needs of different energy providers.
With Hyperflex, Comau has collapsed the traditional manufacturing and installation process into a highly efficient, on-site procedure that manufactures the torque tube, transversal beam and PV module in a single, robotized production station.
Through an optimized mix of manual and automated processes, in which human operators work alongside the robot in complete safety thanks to advanced laser scanning techniques, HyperFlex supports green energy production while improving the working conditions of the operators.
With an installation rate of up to 30 per cent more modules per hour per operator compared to standard processes, Hyperflex also facilitates faster time-to-market for new plants of up to 25 per cent with an average price per panel savings of 35 per cent.
The robotic solution can therefore play a decisive role in helping achieve Europe’s renewable penetration goals.
As a temporary mobile factory, the entire solution is housed inside a semi-trailer that can be easily shipped from one solar plant to another.
In addition to granting centralized control of the entire process and creating a new, KM 0 logistics flow directly in the field, Hyperflex improves efficiency while reducing overall energy consumption.
It also improves the photovoltaic value chain at a plant level and allows in-field operators to play a fundamental role in quality control and process management.
Furthermore, Comau’s industrialization of the solution will help the journey of energy conversion. And because the flexible design easily accommodates different types of trackers and panels, it can be tailored to meet the specific needs of different energy providers.
Nicole Clement, chief of advanced automation solutions at Comau, says: “Reducing costs for solar farm installation is of paramount importance and a key factor in meeting the world’s net zero emission targets.
“Based on internal estimates and supporting market research, we believe global photovoltaic panel installation for solar farms will experience a 10 per cent CAGR between 2022 and 2030.
“Hyperflex is well-positioned to speed the deployment of new installations while ensuring better quality, increased efficiency, and lower overall costs, helping our customers contribute to making sustainable solar energy a reality.”