TrinaTracker, a leading solar tracker brand under Trina Solar, recently contributed its innovative Vanguard two-in-portrait (2P) independent horizontal single-axis tracker for a 300 kW ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system installed in the jungles of Janda Baik, Pahang, Malaysia. This behind-the-meter installation is expected to reduce operational energy costs and increase the profitability of the client’s ongoing factory expansion, all while reducing their carbon footprint and enhancing the sustainability and green credentials of their products.
TrinaTracker Vanguard 2P solar trackers installed at Janda Baik, Malaysia
Strong winds and high humidity are common at Janda Baik because of its mountainous terrain and tropical rainforest climate, which comes with significant rainfall throughout the year. These arduous conditions can pose significant challenges to solar tracking systems but were easily overcome with TrinaTracker’s Vanguard series modules.
To learn more, more than 50 developers and independent power producers (IPPs) visited the installation site to witness the state-of-the-art Vanguard trackers in action and learn more about the features that give the trackers the stability and reliability they need to excel in Janda Baik’s climate.
One of these features is the multi-drive system used in the Vanguard 2P tracker. The multi-drive system ensures good working conditions even in higher external loads because it can:
Self-lock, which effectively reduces the impact of gust wind
- Effectively reduce the torsional load from fluttering as it equivalently splits the entire tracker into multiple smaller single drive trackers, which shortens the torsion arm and results in lower torsional load
- Ensure high synchronization and lower failure rate by adopting a single motor mechanism, where output power from the primary drive is simultaneously transferred to both secondary drives via a transmission bar
- Achieve strong flexibility thanks to a special cardan design between the transmission bars; this design also comes with strong rectifying ability and easy installation
The Vanguard tracker also incorporates an intelligent tracking system known as SuperTrack, which dynamically optimizes the tracking angle according to real-time weather conditions and system parameters. Thanks to SuperTrack, the Vanguard tracker is expected to provide an additional 2 to 4% yield gain for this installation.
This is achieved with the Smart Tracking Algorithm (STA) and Smart Backtracking Algorithm (SBA). STA optimizes energy yield during high diffuse irradiance weather, like cloudy days, by utilizing:
- TrinaTracker’s proprietary technology for the Bifacial Irradiation Model and deep learning model, which identify the power generation characteristics of the bifacial modules under the influence of 12 key parameters.
Meteorology and system operation data, which optimize the tracking angle in real-time and ensure auto stow in heavy cloud cover to maximize bifacial pickup on the underside of the module.
Together, these ensure optimal energy yield throughout the entire life cycle and reduce tracker rotation, effectively extending the service life of the motor and tracker; since it often gets cloudy in the mountainous regions of Janda Baik, the benefits of extended service life and increased energy yield will be even more pronounced for this installation compared to those at typical site locations.
STA adjusts the tracking angle to maximize bifacial pickup in high diffuse irradiance weather
Similarly, SBA maximizes energy yield by reducing the shading problem brought by complex terrains, including the mountainous terrain of Janda Baik’s jungles. It adopts:
- System operation data to perform disturbance training
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) sensing technology and/or power generation data to identify shading and construct three-dimensional terrain
- Machine learning algorithm and mini-shading model to automatically determine the optimal backtracking angle group for overall power generation
Simply put, these features help to determine and use the optimal angle to minimize row-on-row shading due to uneven terrain and shading in backtracking.
Smart Backtracking Algorithm (SBA) optimizes tracker angle to minimize shading
TrinaTracker also shared more about how the combination of single-axis tracking and bifacial modules lowers project levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and enhances financial return. Isolated installation sites, like the remote jungles in Janda Baik, often come with higher turnkey costs and construction civil and topography risks, but these issues can be – and, in this installation, were – mitigated with TrinaTracker’s Vanguard 2P tracker; this single-axis tracker was designed to reduce piles by up to 45%, decreasing installation and balance-of-system costs, and has also been optimized for quick on-site assembly to lower labor costs.
In addition to these product benefits, TrinaTracker also shared more about the value-added services in the form of deep and close technical support provided at every step of the project cycle. Andrew Gilhooly, Head of TrinaTracker and Utility Solution Sales at Trina Solar Asia Pacific, explained, “To further differentiate ourselves in the market, we provide high-value design services that include pre-sales engineering support and support during project execution. We work with customers. They give us the project details – boundary, target, megawatt capacity, project timing, any geotechnical or topography surveys, etc. We can then quickly evaluate the specific site and how to meet the target outcome.”
“We have all the possible design configurations for TrinaTracker embedded in our design platform, so we can do the site optimization and evaluation very quickly to compress the pre-sales phase of our customers’ projects and enable them to respond to more tenders and opportunities in a more productive manner.”
TrinaTracker's customer support often extends to on-site assistance, but this was not possible for the Janda Baik installation due to the travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges faced, the EPC team flawlessly completed the tracker installation with remote assistance from TrinaTracker's experts.
Installation team and TrinaTracker experts at the installation site in Janda Baik, Malaysia
Want to learn more about TrinaTracker? Click here: https://www.trinasolar.com/en-apac/product/TrinaTracker
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