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Solar panel manufacturer now offers means to clean them
With its recent acquisition of Greenbotics, solar technology and energy service provider SunPower, now also offers water saving panel cleaning products. SunPower expects to utilise the robotic technology and the Greenbotics team in conjunction with other product development and large-scale solar field installation projects globally, saying that the package will prove particularly useful in markets with challenging dirt and dust environments.
Greenbotics is a leader in optimising the performance of solar power plants through a cost-effective cleaning process. For the past two years, the company has used its proprietary CleanFleet robots and service offerings to wash hundreds of MegaWatts of systems in the Southwest and Western US. The robots can be configured for use with a variety of solar panels and mounting types, including fixed-tilt arrays and single-axis trackers and offer a less costly and greener alternative to manual cleaning methods, pressure washers and sprayer trucks.
The robots use under a half a cup of water to clean each panel, which is approximately 90%less than traditional cleaning methods, making this solution optimum for solar systems built in desert conditions.
"SunPower's acquisition of Greenbotics and its CleanFleet robots will allow us to further maximise the proven system performance of our high efficiency, most reliable solar panels, which is critical to a project's economics and levelised cost of electricity," says Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO.
"Customers in markets such as the Western US, 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 CleanFleet robots can be tailored specifically for each power plant to optimise a project's cleaning schedule. Most panels are cleaned at night to avoid disruption during the daytime, energy-producing hours. Regularly cleaning solar panels located in dry, dusty regions can increase annual energy production by up to 15%.
7th November 2013