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NEXTracker™, a Flex company, has released NX Navigator™, a 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. With an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), NX Navigator builds on the company’s proven TrueCapture sytem 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.
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.
“NX Navigator is the latest innovation by NEXTracker that we have implemented as a way to add value to several of our solar power plants,” said Chris Clevenger, COO of D.E Shaw Renewable Investments. “Previously, we deployed NEXTracker’s TrueCapture system on many of our projects; as with TrueCapture, we are pleased to be an early adopter of these NX Navigator features.”
“We are committed to further driving PV plant performance for our customers,” said Dan Shugar, CEO at NEXTracker. “NX Navigator provides additional intelligence and operator control that results in higher production yield, lower operations and maintenance costs, and enables solar panels to handle increasingly prevalent extreme weather. NX Navigator compliments our TrueCapture control system, featuring rapid response, individual tracker row architecture and high rotation speed trackers.”
“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.”