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Solar panels tend to use either a single or dual axis tracking system which allows them to follow the path of the sun throughout the day, and during different times of the year. Using such tracking systems allows them to produce as much as 45 percent more electricity than solar panels that are fixed in one position.
The problem is that the tracking systems are expensive to operate and to run, in terms of the maintenance of the many moving parts, and also the energy required to move those parts.
A California based start-up company, QBotix, has developed an autonomous robot which can help to reduce the cost of producing electricity from solar arrays by as much as 20 percent. The solar robot will be released for sale next month.
A single robot can manage the tracking of up to 200 individual arrays by running along a fixed monorail and stopping at each panel to manually rotate it with an extendable arm. The robot runs on a single battery and is so efficient that it can significantly increase the energy production efficiency of the solar panels, whilst at the same time reducing the operating costs.
Wasiq Bokhari, the CEO of QBotix, said that “the benefit we provide is that, without any cost difference, the project owners can generate 8 to 15 percent more energy compared to single-axis tracking systems and 30 to 40 percent more energy than fixed-mount systems.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com