Intersolar NA: Innovations go on as NEXTracker shows

The round shape and self-balance system of NX Horizon`s single-axis allows a maximal length of over 85 meters as CMO Mike Mehawich explained at Intersolar North America. (Photo: Hans-Christoph Neidlein)
The round shape and self-balance system of NX Horizon`s single-axis allows a maximal length of over 85 meters as CMO Mike Mehawich explained at Intersolar North America. (Photo: Hans-Christoph Neidlein)

An optimistic mood, crowded booths and ongoing product and business model innovations characterized day two of Intersolar North America. An example is NEXTracker as S&WE discovered in San Francisco.

NEXTracker presents its updated version of its single-axis horizontal NX Horizon at the show. Through a slightly slimmer design of its steel construction materials and weight could be further reduced with associated savings Mike Mehawich, Chief Marketing Officer, told S&WE. Moreover, it can be optimized for wider rotation angels up to 120 degrees. Most prominent USP of NX Horizon is its maximum length of over 85 meters with eleven pillars, that enabels to install more modules driven by one motor and gear per axis. Another USP is the self-balancing system design according to Mehawich.

The California based company see itself as technology developer and designer. Manufacturing is outsourced via its mother company Flextronics International Ltd (Flex). NEXTracker operates as an independent subsidiary of Flex since October 2015. The components are delivered directly to the projects and assembled at the building site. Installation of one axis unit takes around five hours, according to Mechawich. “We benefit through the global presence of our mother company”, he said. Thereby NEXTracker could easily produce locally and thereby reduce costs or meet domestic content requirements. Currently NEXTracker components are produced in five sites including China, Chile and Portugal. Total installations increased to over 4 GW, shipments in 2015 were around 1,680 MW, Mehawich reported. Main markets are the U.S. (50 percent), Chile, Mexico, India and Australia.

So far the company mainly sells the self-containing tracking units including different module mounts. EPCs as customers then choose their own modules. ”But we now also focus on more integrated solutions for distributed generation as a business model“, Mehawich told S&WE. NX Fusion single-axis tracker product bundle comes fully equipped, pre-wired, pre-assembled, and ready to power up. Inverter supplier is Huawei, modules are produced and branded by Flex. Performance monitoring is also included.

Hans-Christoph Neidlein

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