Customers around the world trust us at NEXTracker to help them solve their solar energy challenges. We back this trust up with our commitment to excellence, our experience, and our track record. NEXTracker has a legacy of performance you can bank on. But you shouldn’t have to take our word for it. Find out how we ensure component quality, and learn how independent third party experts evaluate us.
Put Through the Paces
Solar power plants have to produce high yields for 25 years in harsh environments. To keep downtimes to a minimum, we have tested the components that make up our innovative trackers extensively.
The motor that is at the heart of our trackers has been through accelerated lifetime tests, outdoor testing, and Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT). Neither severe temperatures nor high mechanical stress were able to break it. In another challenge, we cycled our motor for an equivalent of more than 25,000 days (80 years) — and it was still going strong at the end, no failing seals, no signs of wear. The same was true for five slew gear/motor units in a similar accelerated lifetime test.
Our Self-Powered Controller (SPC) has been evaluated for reliability according to Telcordia SR-332, a globally accepted standard for calculating MTBF (mean time between failure) for electronic components. All 84 individual components from the SPC controller board as well as the board as a whole were evaluated — with outstanding results.
The structural parts of our innovative trackers have been extensively evaluated by highly regarded independent third party engineers including Kleinfelder, Cermak Peterka Petersen Inc., and Structurology LLC.
There is a lot of truth to the saying, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” That’s why we at NEXTracker have detailed processes in place to assure the quality of our suppliers continuously meets or exceeds the high bar we’ve set. We assess and audit them on an ongoing basis, and we require ISO 9001 certification as a minimum as well as Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and certificates of conformance. To keep up reliability, we inspect our construction sites extensively.
The components for our NEXTracker independent single-axis tracker are sourced from best-in-class vendors, each of which is a world leader in its domain. We monitor the performance of our trackers in the field constantly, critically assessing performance, and acting promptly if a component does not meet our strict expectations. Our track record has been remarkable; we’re happy to share details with you on request.
Third Party Evaluation
NEXTracker has been evaluated and certified by ETL to UL 2703, which is the standard in the U.S. for mounting systems for PV modules. UL 2703 includes construction requirements and testing for integrity of grounding/bonding and corrosion resistance. All of our key suppliers for structure, motor, slew gear, controller, fasteners, and dampers comply with either ISO 9001 or TS 16949 as a minimum.
CPP Case Study Brief
CPP recently conducted a study to measure static and dynamic wind loads for NEXTracker. CPP designers created a 1:30 scale model of a representative field of NX tracker rows, featuring nearly 1,000 pressure taps to measure wind pressures at key locations along each row. Then CPP technicians put the model through its paces in the wind tunnel, measuring pressures at every tap for a variety of module inclinations and all wind approach directions.
In a study like this, data collection is the easy part. But making sense of the large data sets that result takes experience, intuition, and a nuanced understanding of the wind patterns that develop in and around fields of solar collectors. Using specialized software that CPP’s solar team developed just for these kinds of studies, they put together the individual pieces to create a comprehensive picture of how our tracking system would behave under a wide range of configurations and wind conditions.
Wind tunnel data was then used to predict how vibration would affect loads along the rotational axes. CPP offered recommendations on how we could account for these dynamic effects, thus providing greater value to our customers. Thanks to CPP and other 3rd party testing organizations, the solar industry is increasingly recognizing that specialized approaches like wind tunnel testing are needed for dynamic wind loading because building codes simply don’t apply to these kinds of thin, flexible structures..
Read the full case study, here.