NEXTracker’s ‘NX Navigator’ control system adds extreme weather safety

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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.

NEXTracker, a Flex company, has released ‘NX Navigator’, its next-generation software and smart control system that enables power plant operators to efficiently monitor and securely control their solar assets for increased production and reliable operation across a wide range of weather conditions.

Problem

Many utility-scale PV power plants lack ‘smart’ advanced control systems that can react quickly to rapid commands to put the entire solar power array into a safe 60 degree stow angle when extreme weather conditions are expected such as hail storms that can cause major damage. 

Solution

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. 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, according to independent tests carried out by RETC (Renewable Energy Test Center).  In the case of snow shed, an authorized operator can pre-schedule two snow shed operations in a single day, which increases production by reducing snow cover on solar panels.

Applications

Utility-scale PV power plants.

Platform

With an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), NX Navigator builds on the company's proven ‘TrueCapture’ system with new monitoring data, maintenance controls and instant risk avoidance tools using high rotation speed trackers.

Availability

February 2020, onwards.

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