PV-Rob

Image: 
  • Cleaning a 8000sqm Thin Film PV Park
  • Integrated PV-Rob in our lab
  • PV-Rob cleaning a BIPV Installation

The need

Accumulation of dust and debris on even one panel in an photovoltaic panel array reduces their efficiency in energy generation considerably. This also emphasizes the need to keep the panels’ surface as clean as possible. Current labor-based cleaning methods for photovoltaic arrays are costly in time, water and energy usage and lack automation capabilities.

The result

We have developed a low cost, man portable service robot able to clean large surfaces covered with photovoltaic panels incl. facades, vertical surfaces of Building Integrated Photovoltaics, PV panels installed in large structural supports that equip large PV plants etc. This is achieved via the development of custom wheels with suction-cups and a specially designed rotary valve per wheel. The robot is equiped with 6 powered wheels, all driven with 2 AC servo motors of 4Hp each!  

The PV-Rob system was able to be attached on a panel array and hover all around a complete photovoltaic array and perform pre-programmed cleaning procedures. Our system has been provided to a large PV-installation in Greece of total surface of 8000 sqm!!!

Innovations

  • Novel Tethering design that encompasses air, water and AC supply in one versatile umbilical
  • Extreme power on the wheels (8Hp in total!)
  • Edge detection and PV-Panel counting
  • Versatile & Effective Cleaning procedure with onboard detergent reservoir
  • Capability to operate up to 65 degrees tilted PV arrays
  • Fully capable to manouver and perform any cleaning routine

Development Time

 From Concept to Field Deployment 16 weeks

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