Yes, robots. There are robots cleaning solar panels.
SunPower, a leading solar company that designs and manufactures solar technologies, has announced their acquisition of GreenBotics, Inc., a company based out of Davis, California that offers a robotic solar panel cleaning service.
Soiling is a build-up of particles on solar panels, which can be dirt, dust, and even bird droppings. For most photovoltaic systems it would make sense to use pressure washers, solar
It can be a challenge, however, maintain large-scale photovoltaic plants without an equally robust cleaning solution. Losing up to 15% of the output from a multi-megawatt photovoltaic plant is a BIG hit financially.
Often times, photovoltaic plants end up in dry, desert climates that are prone to dust.
Dust = Soiling = Lost $
See the machine in action:
To combat this problem, GreenBotics introduced their robotic solution that systematically cleans large-scale photovoltaic plants, which reduces water waste and much of the labor cost of cleaning these systems. These robots will be used throughout SunPower’s projects and will be particularly advantageous for solar power plants in the Middle East, the western United States and Chile.
Tom Werner, president and CEO of SunPower, speaks of the acquisition of GreenBotics and how this will add value to their company and help reduce waste:
“Customers in markets such as the Western U.S., the Middle East and Chile will especially benefit, as dust and debris is a challenge and water is in shorter supply. We are very pleased to add the valuable services offered by Greenbotics to our energy services offerings.”
The cost of photovoltaic panels has become cheaper over time, and now the maintenance of large-scale systems is being optimized.
Could robotics be the next big shift for solar?