When project developer Silicon Ranch and its EPC contractor McCarthy were assessing single-axis trackers for First Solar’s Series 4™ PV modules for a series of projects in Tennessee, cost, reliability, and compatibility were chief concerns. After careful review of linked row trackers and NEXTracker’s self-powered tracker, First Solar suggested the NX Horizon™ tracker due to its adaptibility, balanced design, and ease of installation. In southwest Tennessee near the borders of Mississippi and Arkansas, the Providence and Selmer Solar Projects demonstrate the innovative spirit of two solar technology companies to form an optimal solution for customers, McCarthy and Silicon Ranch. Together, the NX Horizon and First Solar Series 4 module deliver superior energy yield, enhanced performance, and improved economics
|McCarthy & Silicon Ranch
Lauded for offering up to 8% more energy than conventional crystalline silicon modules with the same power rating, First Solar Series 4 benefits were many. First Solar’s proven 10 GW tracker record, and superior glass-glass construction were important factors to Silicon Ranch. The challenge was in finding the most compatible solar tracking solution while keeping CAPEX and OPEX costs low. First Solar referred McCarthy and Silicon Ranch to NEXTracker’s NX Horizon self-powered tracker as a possible solution.
Conventional push-pull trackers typically use large actuator arms to rotate the array. These linkages increase construction complexity while also impeding access to the array for O&M purposes. NX Horizon’s individual tracking rows eliminate drive linkages and their associated complexity, and overcome blockage and design constraints – additional attractive features for both McCarthy and Silicon Ranch.
Thanks to NX Horizon’s balanced design, the slightly higher weight presented by First Solar Series 4 modules does not require an increase in rotational power. In fact, NX Horizon is robust enough to carry dual glass and standard crystalline silicon modules just the same.
NEXTracker’s engineering team worked closely with the First Solar team to adapt a standard module interface bracket (MIB) to mate perfectly with the First Solar Series 4 modules and the NX Horizon’s round torque tube.
The optimized bracket allows installers to place MIBs individually on the torque tubes without any need for measuring. The included First Solar FastMount™ module clip technology – with most of the flips pre-installed in the factory – reduces fastener count to a single fastener per module. These innovations allow for fast and simple installation and significantly reduced construction time and man hours. Finally, First Solar Series 4’s proven True-Tracking advantage – because Series 4 delivers a linear response to partial shading,energy production is maximized without back-tracking – a perfect match for NX Horizon’s innovative 120˚ rotational range, delivering optimum energy production.
The NX Horizon tracker’s balanced design, self-powered actuation, and superior range-of-motion are an ideal fit for the First Solar Series 4 modules – ultimately speeding project construction time, increasing cost saving benefits, and allowing for maximum energy production.
In addition to the technological innovation, all three sites combined will be providing power to approximately 6,500 homes and offsetting 60,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.
|350 local workers
EMPLOYED AT PEAK CONSTRUCTION
CO2 EMISSIONS AVOIDED
The NEXTracker-First Solar solution more than satisfied our requirements to maximize energy production. NEXTracker has demonstrated a solid installation and performance record with other customers and we knew we could count on them to deliver the lowest LCOE out there.