STI Control uses three networked components: System Network Controller, Tracker Smart Controller and Intelligent Weather Controller.
- System Network Controller – acts as the heart of the solar plant and communicates wirelessly with all other system elements, being capable to manage up to 200 solar trackers.
- Tracker Smart Controller – is installed by the solar tracker motor and uses an astronomical algorithm to calculate the sun’s position and command all solar trackers to position themselves perpendicularly to solar rays. To maximize efficiency, the Tracker Smart Controller uses AI and an inclinometer to calculate a new solar tracker angle in case of shading between adjacent rows. Tracker Smart Controller is accessible by a smartphone application for a more user-friendly process.
- Intelligent Weather Controller – a self-powered weather station capable to accommodate multiple sensors which gather and send information on atmospheric conditions. It also generates alarms in case of strong winds or snow accumulation, among others. These alarms will cause the system to take actions relating to tracker movement with the aim of ensuring structural tracker integrity.
STI Control uses wireless technology Zigbee, which operates at 2.4 GHz with a larger reach and lower energy consumption, thus ensuring controllers can issue signals even in case of network node failure.
In parallel, the company has internally created a Center of Operations to control, monitor, and collect data from PV plants equipped with de STI Norland solar trackers.
“A hallmark of STI Norland is our customer-oriented nature, as demonstrated by the release of STI Control. This new communication system increases operational margins, autonomy and freedom to adapt to the specific needs to each customer and project,” says Íñigo García Colomo, Electronic Engineer and leader of this project. “The release of STI Control means going a step further to attain optimized solar power plant performance.”
News item from STI Norland