How Is Each Nevados ATT Bearing Different?

March 8, 2024
By Editorial Team

One of the most common questions we get asked by our customers is what makes each of our solar tracker bearings different. This is because the Nevados All Terrain Tracker (ATT) is offered with two interchangeable bearing options: the straight-through bearing and the articulating bearing. Both bearings are designed to adapt to the contours of the natural terrain and therefore reduce or eliminate grading for utility-scale solar installations, but each one has different capabilities and features.

Today, we’re breaking down the differences between each type of ATT bearing to help you understand how they work and which option you might need for your upcoming projects.

Straight-Through Bearing

The straight-through bearing for the ATT stands out because of its ability to adapt to the natural terrain of about 90% of solar sites. How is it so versatile? Because the straight-through bearing can handle post-to-post angle changes of up to 4.4% 

The key features that allow the straight-through bearing to accommodate such changes in angle, rotation, and height include:

  • Flexible cradle: The torque tube cradles on either side of the straight-through bearing can flex up to 2.5 degrees, totaling 4.4% tolerance across the whole bearing.
  • Torque tube engagement: Within the cradle, each torque tube has a roughly 1.5” window of engagement for the north/south direction, allowing for even greater terrain-following ability and more generous installation tolerances.

This versatility minimizes construction costs and time, making it an attractive choice for solar developers looking for cost-effective solutions for their projects. 

Articulating Bearing

While the straight-through bearing is suitable for most applications, there are times when a site’s terrain is especially challenging due to steep rolling hills, undulating terrain, or differential settlement events. In these cases, the articulating bearing for the ATT offers unparalleled flexibility. 

Acting as a hinge at each post, the articulating bearing can accommodate post-to-post angle changes of up to 15 degrees or 26% in slope. Effectively, the articulating bearing is capable of eliminating the need for grading on any solar site — even those that were previously deemed “unsuitable”. The articulating bearing’s terrain-following capabilities far exceed what pile drivers and other solar equipment on the market today are capable of.

Some of the unique features that set the articulating bearing apart include:

  • Hinged bearing: As the name implies, the articulating bearing is able to flex on both sides of the cradle to adapt to steep angle changes.
  • Pivoting support bolts: The articulating bearing also features two pivoting support bolts around the cradle that affix it to the pile. These allow for more flexible installation tolerances and greater terrain-adapting capabilities.

After installation, the articulating bearing requires lubrication every five years to ensure optimal performance in rugged terrains, while the straight-through bearing is resilient without regular upkeep. Both bearings are pre-assembled to ensure efficient installation.

Nevados’ engineers will configure a project using the appropriate bearings based on the topography of the site and create detailed drawings to assist customers during installation. Coupled with its disconnected torque tube system and uniform pile reveal heights, the Nevados ATT is capable of building on a maximum of 37% slope. 

Optimize Your Tracker with TRACE Technology

Nevados optimizes your trackers’ backtracking and rotation schedules for the specific terrain that it is designed for using its advanced Tracker Rotation Angle Control Engine (TRACE) software platform. The TRACE Technology utilizes advanced algorithms and data analytics to assess site-specific factors such as terrain slope, irradiance levels, and environmental conditions.

With this data, TRACE recommends the most suitable bearing option to guarantee optimal performance and efficiency for utility-scale solar projects. This technology simplifies the decision-making process for solar developers so they can maximize energy production and minimize operational costs.

If you’re looking for a solar tracker that adapts to any natural terrain with little to no site grading, consider Nevados All Terrain Tracker. Contact us, or download our data sheet for more information about the ATT.

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Products & Services
Chief Commercial Officer

Jenya Meydbray

Jenya is the Chief Commercial Officer of Nevados, prior to that he co-founded PVEL in 2010 and served as CEO for the past dozen years. 

He developed the first extended reliability and performance test protocols for the downstream PV industry as well as innovative methods of evaluating PV performance for power plant level risk assessment and mitigation. 

Prior to founding PVEL, Jenya was the Senior Quality and Reliability Engineer at SunPower where he designed accelerated test methods for high-efficiency solar cells and modules. Jenya began his career at NASA Ames Research Center’s hyper-gravity facilities. He also served as VP of Technology for Cypress Creek Renewables, a utility-scale project developer.


Rick Baldini

Rick has over 18 years of finance experience across several industries including financial services, insurance, real estate, and construction.  Rick is experienced in building, leading, and advising companies through complex restructurings, business expansion and product development.  

Prior to Nevados, Rick was the CFO for Link Real Estate & Urban Land Co, a real estate investment firm, that Rick led to become the fastest growing private company in Central Ohio.  Rick has also been successful in structuring a multi-million-dollar licensing deal with a public company while CFO at Global Administration Management, a boutique consulting firm in the insurance industry.

Rick is a graduate of the University of Arizona where he received a B.S. in Finance and Marketing.