New Intelligent Control System for Solar Plants Responds to Site, Weather Conditions

Flex company NEXTracker yesterday launched TrueCapture, an intelligent, self-adjusting tracker control system the company says is a first for solar power plants.

The control system continuously refines the tracking algorithm of individual solar arrays in response to existing site and weather conditions, delivering 2-6 percent energy gains, the company said.

“For the first time, advanced machine learning is being applied to unlock the true potential of power plant performance,” NEXTracker CEO Dan Shugar said in a statement. “We are taking a technology that has been around for over two decades and infusing it with intelligence to meet the needs of a new data-driven world.”

According to NEXTracker, TrueCapture leverages forecast-based tracking behavior algorithms for clouds, fog or haze and row-to-row (R2R) hybrid closed-loop self-learning that course corrects the panel direction to minimize production loss due to shading and clouds. Wireless self-powered controllers on the tracker sync with the smart panels and the SCADA system, connected through Flex’s IoT platform, a secure, NERC-CIP compliant, connected intelligence platform. Communication is continually dispatched from the IoT platform to control each independent row. 

Lead image credit: NEXTracker

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