Modular Arc System is a innovative system for the construction of solar power plants. It can be used as a hybrid solution that combines agriculture and photovoltaics in a completely new way. MarcS is the result of 20 years of experience in building high quality solar installations.
A unique technological innovation!
The main technological innovation is the integration of the solar panels as part of the substructure, creating a fixed unit: the arch, statically stable and cost-effective in construction.
Second, the sliding nature of the module arch opens up different uses for the system and also improves the installation.
Third, MarcS makes more efficient use of modular and ground surfaces than other conventional options.
A new solution that cannot be compared to an existing PV system.
Production and function description
The system consists of solar modules arranged in rows that, unlike conventional solar systems, are constructed in an arc shape. This is a statically advantageous arrangement. It joins the modules with the substructure to form a fixed static piece. A rail system supports the modular arches, which can be moved flexibly over large areas. The modules face east and west with different inclination angles and achieve kWh yields of classical photovoltaic systems in one direction. The space under the modules can be used for different purposes.
This innovation requires little material, is cost-effective, flexible and helps multiply land use and economic benefits. A sustainable combination solution. The PV system of the future.
|Multiple use/ solar, agriculture, livestock
|Support column distance
|every 9 meters or one support column
every 20 m2
|> 2 MWp / ha
|2.50 tot 3.50 m
|Material savings are planned to be comparable with conventional single purpose PV systems or with other Agri-PV systems
|1.9 million kWh / ha / year in the Netherlands
Thanks to the ability to move the system, which is installed on rails, MarcS can be used flexibly and individually.
It is possible to use it as a single PV system, as a hybrid solution as Agri-PV or even as a triple system solution Agri-PV + livestock.
Fast and flexible system installation through full or partial automation from a single installation point.
MarcS does not require supports under the arches. The required supporting supports are one row of supports every 9 meters or one support per 20 m².
>2.1 MWp /hectare
A very high area capacity of more than 2 MWp/ha distinguishes MarcS. It is more efficient than other existing products.
Yield as with E/W
Through efficient use of materials, improved space utilization and maximum energy recovery.
The arch form requires low material costs and can be used as a single, double and triple system, multiplying the economic benefits.
Softly on the ground
During construction, the modules are pre-assembled and moved from one point via the rail system without affecting the ground.
The design allows for flexible and individual management of the system, even with recurring periodic changes.
Material savings compared to classic disposable PV systems are up to 30%, compared to other agro-PV systems even up to 60%.
Thanks to the self-supporting structure, a large area under the PV system is free and can be used for other purposes.
Climate changes with extreme weather conditions, legal regulations and the decreasing availability of large tracts of land bring dual use of agricultural land into focus. The technological solution Agri-PV generates electricity from a renewable energy source, the sun, without withdrawing the land required for it from use for food production. The main advantages of the combined use of MarcS modules with agriculture are:
Safety for crops and animals
Optimization of crops and breeding.
Improving the efficiency of modules through installations
Increasing economic efficiency
The MarcS system was developed together with farmers and is therefore particularly well suited to the needs of agriculture. It already foresees the use of robots for further stages of development.
MarcS will revolutionize the way solar power plants are built. The system is designed for automatic or semi-automatic assembly. This guarantees accuracy and quality in the process.
When MarcS is installed for single use, all rows are fully covered by the module arcs to ensure maximum energy production. In hybrid solutions, the module arches can be installed in such a way that the space for moving the system remains free and can thus be used for other purposes. Moving the rows of arches frees up the floor for other purposes.
The arch shape gives the system excellent static stability. Pressure is distributed to the load-bearing columns, increasing compressive strength.
No distracting supporting columns and beams are needed under the arches, which significantly increases safety in operation and maintenance and reduces the risk of accidents.
Early in development, we test the arches for snow and wind loads and perform electroluminescence measurements in a specially designed test frame.
MarcS can be used in many different ways. The system can be operated as an alternative to a classic east/west system, as part of a hybrid use in agriculture as an agri-PV system or in further combination with animal husbandry. MarcS thus enables clean energy generation also in food production and animal husbandry.
MarcS is being developed for international use. We are currently in the test phase for the Dutch market. The first test project in the Netherlands is already in planning.
MarcS uses standard modules, therefore no special modules of any particular brand are required. The only requirement is that they are framed.
Also, we are aware of the current market trend towards the use of larger modules and MarcS is able to constantly adapt to this trend, as long as the modules are framed.
MarcS is designed to make more efficient use of materials, the exact costs depend on the individual use. We assume that a standard (100% area use) MarcS will be priced similar to an east-west system.
Depending on the desired configuration of Marcs the price will be amended, however it now has to be calculated in combination with its second use. Thus, in terms of profitability, the benefits of at least two use-cases must be considered. Price-benefits for the dual/tripple use is a clear plus for MarcS that differentiates it from existing options.
First, the mobility of the system. This is a key element of Marcs. Being able to move the modules to open and close areas as desired according to the season of the year or the specific needs of the crop is a particular advantage of MarcS.
Second, it is a standardized solution, which allows for many individual adaptations within its system – e.g. the different ground covering options. Furthermore, all add-ons that are under development solve many current challenges in agriculture. For its development, we will work together with users and research organizations that are specialized in this field and know these needs in detail.
MarcS is designed as a ground-mounted system for usage in different wind and weather conditions, to withstand challenges in agriculture as well as rodents. Therefore, the use of robust and partially protective components and materials is essential. Within MarcS, the cables are optionally routed in protective channels and always attached to the support rails. If the curved elements are movable, the plug connections are manually disconnected and reconnected at the new location. In future developments, this process will be further automated.
Developments of agri-photovoltaic solutions are progressing rapidly. We are planning to enter into a cooperation with Solarvation, which is researching with the University of Wageningen in a MarcS research project regarding plant growth of different types of cultivation. The study results will be incorporated into the further development of the system.
MarcS is designed as a ground-mounted system for use under many different wind and weather conditions or additional challenges in agriculture such as animal bites. Here, the use of robust and partly protective components and materials is essential. At MarcS, cables optionally run in protective channels and always in connection with the mounting rails. If curved elements are movable, connectors are currently disconnected manually and reconnected at the new location. In future developments, this process will be further automated.
In the case of manual disconnection, there is no specific protection, but the cables are resistant. When used for livestock, a protective channel is used. We are experimenting with using a natural substance that makes the cables unappealing to animals. In phase two, we use cables with caterpillar wires that already have protection in the system.
MarcS is constantly being further developed in cooperation with different partners. In addition to a fixed mounted system, there will be the possibility to move arch elements. Here we are planning with manual and automatic solutions. A variety of useful options regarding lighting or water management will optimize the system for agricultural use in the future.