Optimum Tracker, a company specializing in the design, production and installation of solar trackers at large photovoltaic power plants, has just filed three patents on its innovative application Opti-SkyControl®. The system analyses cloud cover in real time and adjusts tracker angles to maximize output when sunlight is diffuse.
“We wanted to harness hardware and software innovation to add a ‘smart’ dimension to products that until now featured only mechanical innovations. The system is a revolution in the tracker world, opening the door to products in step with our times, delivering increasing performance, and in the service of the energy revolution,” says Madyan De Welle, Co-Founder and Innovation Director of Optimum Tracker.
Opti-SkyControl®: up to 1.7% output gain some month.
Using a predictive algorithm, a hemispherical camera and photosensors that measure luminosity, the system is capable of making short-term predictions of changes in cloud cover. It uses these to calculate the tracker’s optimal angle of inclination to obtain the highest solar luminosity in the prevailing diffuse conditions. For even greater precision, Opti-SkyControl® takes into account the types of wavelengths that are the most productive for the solar panels installed at the site, and swivels the array to face the most effective luminous point of the sky for those panels.
“We have integrated artificial intelligence into the tracker: our algorithm analyses its previous predictions to improve its future predictions. It can also recognize cloud types by calling on a previously learned database of cloud models and enhancing it with real-time onsite analyses. This permits longer-term and more accurate predictions based on local cloud behaviour,” explains Madyan De Welle.
Studies by the Center of Observation, Impacts and Energy (OIE) from Paris Mines Engineering School, which specializes in calculating the output of photovoltaic systems, quantifies the production gains as 0.1% to 1.7% per month depending on the period.