POWER December 2021 - 20

SOLAR POWER
2. Solar power producers are constantly seeking ways to optimize energy production from
their equipment, including trackers, which follow the sun and can enable higher output in both
the early morning and late afternoon. Courtesy: Nextracker
More than 150 of California's dairy
farms are now generating solar energy,
as more and more such energy-intensive
operations are opting for solar energy to
reduce operational costs. " We're proud
to have been able to partner with Renewable
Solar Inc. to deliver high-quality
clean energy systems and associated
cost savings for California farm owners
over the years, " said Steve Daniel, executive
vice president of Solar FlexRack.
" We look forward to working together
further with Renewable Solar Inc. on
additional agricultural solar projects in
support of California's nation-leading renewable
portfolio standard. "
Solar FlexRack's Series G racking is offered
in both landscape and portrait orientations,
to maximize energy production
depending on location. The rack features
lateral bracing, to stabilize and square
the racking system for easier installation.
The horizontal rail bracket allows the horizontal
rail to be set in place without the
need for bolts, which reduces installation
time. The rack can accommodate up to a
20% east-west slope, again to maximize
energy production.
California-based Nextracker in early
November said it was the first solar
tracker (Figure 2) equipment and software
provider to surpass 50 GW in global
shipments. The company said its equipment
is used in major solar power plants
in 40 countries.
Nextracker's technology advancements
include its NX Horizon solar tracker,
which features a balanced mechanical
design that delivers bifacial energy production.
The company's signature TrueCapture
smart control software is helping
utility-scale solar power plants mitigate
drops in power output triggered by cloud
cover, or when one row of panels casts a
shadow over panels in neighboring rows.
20
The company said its latest advancement
is the Split Boost algorithm, which
optimizes energy yield for split-cell silicon
PV modules. Defne Gun, a technical
sales engineer for the company, wrote
on the company's website: " We model
Split Boost with our internal raytracingbased
backtracking software where
the shade tolerance of the module, as
well as Split Boost operating mode, are
baked into our row-to-row energy gain algorithm,
so we can accurately estimate
gains. By using the algorithms in 'simulation
mode' before deployment to a solar
plant, we can estimate TrueCapture performance
at a given site with that site's
specific energy model, tracker geometry,
and terrain. "
Tigo Energy, known for its Flex MLPE
systems, in September said its Energy
Intelligence (EI) inverter and battery
product lines were now available to U.S.
residential solar installers. The company
said the new inverter and battery products
support native integrations of the
company's solar and storage components,
and are an extension of the Tigo
Enhanced commercial and industrial solar
partnership program into the residential
market.
" The new EI Battery and Inverter
products provide a very simple installation
and commissioning process as well
as powerful fleet management features.
The end customer, in turn, will benefit
from access to an abundance of resilient,
renewable, and safe energy with a
system that can be precisely tailored for
price and performance, " said Zvi Alon,
Tigo Energy CEO, in a news release.
Storage Key to Growth
Sharma reiterated that developing storage
solutions hand-in-hand with solar
power will be key to supporting industry
www.powermag.com
growth. " Energy storage is still relatively
expensive, " Sharma told POWER. " And
it doesn't make economic sense yet in
many applications. [But] in residential applications,
energy storage makes sense:
for resiliency, for security, and for powering
through blackouts. It's playing a very
important role, especially as we experience
increases in incidences of extreme
weather. But to really unlock the next
phase of solar, we need lower-cost storage
across all applications. "
Companies already are marketing
products designed to support residential
solar and storage. Tesla's Powerwall
is among the best known; the
Powerwall stores solar energy to provide
backup power when the grid goes
down. Generac Grid Services, a sponsor
of POWER's Distributed Energy
Conference this past October, recently
launched its PWRgenerator, a new type
of DC generator designed to rapidly recharge
Generac's PWRcell Battery. The
DC-coupled PWRgenerator can enable
the PWRcell Battery to keep a home
powered for a longer period of time
during outages.
The PWRgenerator connects directly
to the PWRcell inverter; Generac said
this " essentially creates a residential nano-grid
allowing a home to be fully energy
independent. " A home's solar panels
provide power to the home during the
day, with excess power charging the
battery. At night, the battery discharges,
and if the state of charge reaches 30%,
PWRgenerator-which can run on either
natural gas or propane-will turn
on and fully charge the battery in about
an hour.
Other solar-plus-storage residential
systems include Panasonic's EverVolt;
LG's Home Battery RESU (Residential
Energy Storage Unit); and smaller
systems such as Jackery's Solar Generator
line, and Goal Zero's 6000X portable
battery model. And technology
advancements for solar energy are making
headway elsewhere, in areas such
as automotive and building applied PV;
a host of consumer electronics with
solar-charging capability; and wearable
mobile power.
" Our industry is experiencing an acceleration
in innovations that improve solar
[performance], " said Sharma, who added
" there's an increasingly greater focus "
on efficiency and aesthetics. " That's
where we're going to continue to see
greater progress and advancements. " ■
-Darrell Proctor is a senior associate
editor for POWER.
POWER | December 2021
http://www.powermag.com

POWER December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of POWER December 2021

POWER December 2021 - Cover1
POWER December 2021 - Cover2
POWER December 2021 - 1
POWER December 2021 - 2
POWER December 2021 - 3
POWER December 2021 - 4
POWER December 2021 - 5
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POWER December 2021 - SCover1
POWER December 2021 - SCover2
POWER December 2021 - S1
POWER December 2021 - S2
POWER December 2021 - S3
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