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Yokogawa has released the HXS10 controller, which controls the actuation systems that move heliostats (reflectors) and photovoltaic panels in solar applications.

The HXS10 helps to maximise power-generating efficiency by controlling the angles of heliostats and solar panels so that they stay pointed at the sun as it moves across the sky.

In a solar thermal power generation system, sunlight is concentrated onto a receiver that uses the heat to turn water into steam, which rotates a turbine and generates electricity.

By controlling the angle of the heliostat so it tracks the movement of the sun, it is possible to precisely focus the sunlight onto the receiver.

For photovoltaic power generation systems, although most solar panels used today are of the fixed type, power-generating efficiency can be improved if panels are kept directed at an optimal angle towards the sun.

Yokogawa has developed the HXS10 to control the actuation systems of solar thermal and photovoltaic power generation systems.

Based on the facility location, date and time, the HXS10 calculates the position of the sun through a high-resolution (64-bit) solar position algorithm, and operates motors or hydraulic actuators to adjust the angle of the heliostats and solar panels so they stay pointed towards the sun.

The HXS10 is designed specifically for the control of solar-tracking systems.

Compared with general-purpose controllers such as PLCs, the controller is said to have lower initial costs and requires less engineering time.

The HXS10 is built of environmentally resistant and durable components and can withstand temperatures ranging from -20C to +70C.

Yokogawa said this product is optimal for the control of solar power generating facilities installed in deserts and other harsh locations.

The HXS10 has a communication function that allows it to be monitored by a host system in a central control room.

To eliminate communication traffic overload and create a more secure and stable communication environment, each HXS10’s communications can be routed to the host system via another HXS10 unit.

The HXS10 is targeted at heavy machinery companies that manufacture solar thermal and photovoltaic power systems.

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