Having solar panels installed at your property is an incredible way to save money on power bills. But there’s still one thing that solar owners don’t enjoy. Cleaning their solar panels. Debris, dust, bird droppings and more can gather on a\ solar panel, forming a film of grime that affects how productive your panels are. The reduced efficiency of the solar panels isn’t extreme, but it certainly can be if you don’t give them a wash regularly.
But imagine if you never had to clean your solar panels again, and could achieve maximum efficiency all the time? That’s a question the engineers at Enray Solutions have obviously asked themselves, and they’ve developed an answer.
Waterless solar panel cleaning robot
Currently, Enray Solutions’ robot is used for ground-mount solar panels and isn’t ready for standard rooftop solar panels yet. However, this technology could definitely lead to smaller-scale products for residential homes.
This robotic cleaning solution is self-powered with a solar panel and lithium battery of its own. How does that solar panel stay clean? Well, this robot isn’t a permanent fixture on solar panels yet, so it can be stored inside and brought out for regular cleaning. Plus, it actually cleans itself when docked.
In very basic terms, you place the robot at the end of a line of mounted panels, and it moves across the panels, dry-cleaning them as it goes. There is a silicon coating on the wheels that prevents damage to the solar panels. Check out the video here!
What is the benefit of the robot?
Enray Solutions estimates that using the robot for regular solar panel cleaning can improve efficiency by about 7%, which is quite impressive. Best of all, it’s made for dusty environments, so it can handle all of the dust that would normally accumulate on a solar panel.
This is particularly useful for large-scale solar projects. For example, in Australia, these solar farms are likely to always be in remote areas, and that often means dusty areas. To have a robot that can easily clean all of the solar panels on a grid with very little human intervention could be huge.
Finally, the robot can be managed remotely, through cloud-based operation. That means it can be controlled and monitored from afar, but it also has a built-in weather sensor so that it can work autonomously when required.