Shoals Technologies and Nextracker introduce North-South Big Lead Assembly product


Shoals Technologies Group, Inc. and Nextracker LLC unveiled a new North-South Big Lead Assembly (BLA) trunk bus product. Shoals specializes in American-made electrical balance of systems (EBOS) for utility-scale solar installations, energy storage and e-mobility, while Nextracker provides smart solar tracker solutions, also American made.

To enhance site access, the two companies collaborated on the new North-South BLA trunk product, which is optimized for NX HorizonT tracker rows. The main advantage of the BLA solution is that it does away with combiner boxes, reducing both installation times and O&M costs further down the line.

In this North-South BLA product, the trunk bus runs parallel, rather than perpendicular, to the torque tube and transition boxes along the North-South row step down the size of the trunk bus along the tracker rows. The companies said O&M is simplified without any structure impeding site access.

Compared to conventional in-field North-South wiring methods, Shoals estimates that its North-South BLA delivers a 43% savings in PV wiring installation labor, a 60% savings in DC wiring O&M, and a 0.25% increase in energy yield due to less DC wiring voltage drop.

“We are proud to partner with Nextracker to make our leading solar ecosystems work optimally together, resulting in utility-scale solar that is more cost effective for our customers,” said Jason Whitaker, chief executive officer of Shoals.

“This collaboration with Shoals provides a critical solution to an industry-wide challenge,” said Dan Shugar, founder and chief executive officer of Nextracker. “We are excited this North-South BLA product is now available, helping more projects realize the long-term benefit of our independent row trackers.”

Shoals developed its BLA in 2017, which the company says enables a faster, safer, more reliable and more cost-effective installation. Nextracker is best known for its first single-axis tracker, the NX Horizon, which features independent rows that the company reports allows personnel and equipment to traverse freely.

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