The goal of any asset owner is to maximize that asset. With these words in mind, Jon Sharp, VP of Product Management for Array Technologies, popped by Track to the Future to talk about Array Technologies’ innovative solar tracking solution, SmarTrack.
“Solar tracking software improves asset performance by attempting to put more light onto solar panels or solar modules and minimize the negative effects of the sun’s shading,” Sharp said. “And SmarTrack is a product that further improves upon these traditional tracking algorithms and adds new ones to the mix to achieve that goal.”
Utility-scale solar plants are much larger today than they were several years ago. To generate power on a large scale, they need all possible advantages and solar gathering improvements they can get.
“For these types of power plants, improving performance, even a little bit or by a few percent, can add many millions of dollars of life to the asset,” Sharp said. “That amount of cash flow can make or break the ability to finance some of these projects.”
When planning arrays, Sharp said it is essential to consider several factors. Start with a reliable and intelligent design, choose a location and terrain that is favorable for solar gathering, and pick a tracking system that works well with the particular site terrain.
Also, Sharp said it’s critical to use quality equipment that maximizes uptime.
“Uptime is every bit as important, or even more important, than optimizing energy output with software or other techniques.”
The best tracking software available isn’t going to do its job if the equipment isn’t high-quality.
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