NEXTracker debuts new control software functionality for solar plant operators

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NEXTracker released a new smart control software — NX Navigator — at Intersolar North America this week which builds on the company’s TrueCapture system with new monitoring data, maintenance controls and instant risk avoidance tools.

For monitoring, plant operators are provided timely information for key parameters at the site, subfield, and individual tracker levels, including precise array and angular values. For control, NX Navigator allows authorized PV plant operators to schedule maintenance operations such as cleaning and mowing, and instantly command the tracker for extreme weather events such as hail, hurricanes, and heavy snow.

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In the case of hail, a single operator command will rapidly put the entire solar power array to a safe 60 degree stow angle. This action will have the benefit of up to tripling the hail resistance module toughness and dramatically reducing damage potential. In the case of snow shed, an authorized operator can preschedule two snow shed operations in a single day, which increases production by reducing snow cover on solar panels.

“Using our calibrated hail cannon, RETC empirically validated that NX Navigator’s hail stow feature tripled the mechanical impact durability of solar panels,” said Cherif Kedir, President and CEO of RETC (Renewable Energy Test Center). “Smart advanced control systems such as those pioneered by NEXTracker will be increasingly important to mitigate the growing occurrence of extreme weather events.”

— Solar Builder magazine

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