TrueCapture™ is an intelligent, self-adjusting tracker control system that increases typical PV power plant energy by 2–6%. TrueCapture boosts solar power plant production by continuously optimizing the tracking algorithm of each individual row in response to site features and changing weather conditions.
Trackers don’t always reach their maximum potential, because of height differences from one tracker row to the next that cause shading or diffuse light conditions that reduce output at standard tracking angles. TrueCapture enhances performance by enabling each individual tracker row to compensate for variations in geographic features, terrain and changing weather—in real time.
Standard systems track all rows identically, and do not capture as much light as they could. Backtracking may eliminate shading, but it also reduces performance in the first hours after sunrise and the final hours before sunset. As the day progresses, trackers maintain their standard positions and follow the sun as closely as possible. If the weather changes and becomes hazier or cloudier, however, energy generation dips once again. Why? Tracking angles that were “correct” in the previous direct sunlight conditions don’t harvest as much solar energy when light is scattered.
Standard trackers With TrueCapture TrueCapture optimizes for diffuse light and uneven ground
Data is the lifeblood of TrueCapture. In addition to following the sun, NEXTracker’s independent tracker rows act as networked data collection nodes. Operational information and commands are transmitted to and from thousands of rows around the world via the cyber-secure Flex Connect software platform. With its smart data capture and model-based predictive control software, TrueCapture helps customers maximize the benefits of their NEXTracker systems, generating more revenues with higher energy yields, better availability, and lower operating costs.
Proprietary smart panel sensors provide real-time shading information on each tracker row. The data is then processed by machine-learning software to build a virtual 3D model of the job site. From dawn to dusk, TrueCapture’s intelligent control engine integrates the virtual model with the latest meteorological forecast data to calculate and send updated and optimized tracking commands to every independent row. As a result, energy production gets a boost.
Over the course of the day, TrueCapture continuously dispatches optimal tracking algorithms to each tracker row, correcting for shading anomalies caused by uneven ground and changing weather conditions. As shown in the accompanying chart, the increase in power production widens the “shoulders” of the power production curve for any given day, resulting in better performance and lower LCOE.
TrueCapture is compatible with most project sites—contact your NX sales representative to learn more about how to take your performance to the next level.
If any company can incorporate as-built site conditions and machine learning into its system design, it's NEXTracker. The Company continues to push our industry forward with new ways to improve system performance."