Flex has been granted a patent for a solar tracking system that optimizes energy output by independently orienting movable solar panel modules based on a performance model predicting energy output. The system considers topography, weather conditions, and solar panel orientation, enhancing efficiency. GlobalData’s report on Flex gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Flex, Photovoltaic roof tiles was a key innovation area identified from patents. Flex's grant share as of February 2024 was 44%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Solar tracking system for optimizing energy output from solar panels

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Flex Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11914404B2) discloses a solar tracker system designed to optimize energy output from a grid of solar panel modules. The system includes multiple rows of rotatable solar panel modules that can move independently of each other to orient themselves towards the solar source. A control system utilizes a performance model that predicts energy output based on the orientation of each row of panels, local weather conditions, and data from a DHI-GHI module and a diffuse angle adjustor. This innovative system aims to maximize energy production by adjusting the orientation of the panels based on real-time data and shading considerations.

Furthermore, the solar tracking system incorporates self-powered controllers and network control units to facilitate wireless communication between the panels and the control system. The system can operate in a mesh network configuration, allowing for efficient data exchange and real-time monitoring of shading conditions. A remote host receives data on weather conditions and generates the performance model, which is executed by a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) device. The SCADA includes modules for topology analysis, row-to-row tracking, and communication with the diffuse angle adjustor, ensuring precise control over the orientation of the solar panels. Overall, this patented solar tracker system represents a significant advancement in optimizing energy output from solar panel arrays through intelligent control mechanisms and real-time data analysis.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.