Abengoa Solar Field
Situation: Ram Jack has been involved in the renewable energy world by providing helical
foundations for solar and wind applications over the past several years.
In 2010, a Spanish company, Abengoa, reached out to Ram Jack to procure
a foundation solution for the Solana Solar Plant they would be implementing
in southern Arizona. The foundations had to be custom engineered to meet
the challenges of changing soil conditions in the arid southwest desert.
The field where the installation would take place had been developed as
an irrigated alfalfa field for many years and as the field was now empty
the moisture content of the soil began to decrease. Because of this ongoing
change in soil density, several months of independent tests were performed
to properly identify the most accurate solution. Based on the overall
project schedule, maintaining a fast-paced installation process would
be required to hit the target completion date for what would be the largest
solar collector field in the world.
Solution: Straightline Construction, a Ram Jack Dealer that also specializes in micro
piles was the perfect candidate to perform the solar field installations.
With soil density testing complete, a series of engineering meetings led
to an approved T-shaped pile cap and sleeve design. The custom design
was embedded into an open-hole micro pile to meet the strict load tolerances
along with the aggressive installation rate of up to 680 piles per day
in 40+ blow count soil conditions. Ram Jack’s engineering and support
staff played an integral role in product design and proof pile load testing
to ensure a smooth project completion. Nearly 71,000 piles were installed
during an 11-month period in 2011. The overall installation was completed
two months ahead of schedule.
Conclusion: The Solana Solar Plant is now nearing completion on 2,300 acres near Gila
Bend, Arizona, which will provide energy to power over 70,000 homes. Ram
Jack is extremely proud and appreciative for the opportunity provided
by Abengoa, a dominant innovator and contributor to green energy development
and its affiliate companies (Teyma and Abencs, now Abensia). Abengoa,
Teyma, and Abencs were all extraordinarily professional and provided a
remarkable work environment for our installation crews. Due to the success
of this project, Ram Jack has developed an ongoing relationship with Abengoa
that has allowed us to take on additional projects and hopefully many
more in the future. The T-shaped caps were produced at the Ram Jack Headquarters
and Manufacturing center in Ada, Oklahoma. Installation was performed
by Straightline Construction, a Ram Jack Dealer with three locations including:
Albuquerque, NM, Pueblo West and Denver, CO.
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