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DR. NAFISA ALI, Professor
ER. Sudhir Narayan Kharpude, PhD Scholar
Department of Renewable Energy Engineering, CTAE Udaipur
Robotic solar PV installations
Robotic solar PV maintenance
Environmental aspects

Solar photovoltaic is a sustainable energy source.

In 2013, its fast-growing capacity increased by 36% to a running total
of 136 GW, worldwide. India: 6.4 GW
The installation of large capacity plants has been gaining more
To boost the Solar PV installation and cutting down prices of
installations; nowadays, robotic devices have gained very much
Robotic Solar PV Installations
The typical installation process for utility scale projects is labour
intensive, long and prone to logistical and quality problems.
Despite incremental improvements, the installation process is
fundamentally flawed because it relies on components largely
designed for small, residential roof systems.
While these flaws are minor within a 20 panel system, they can create
major problems for 20,000 panel systems.

Main highlights:
a better process that can build utility scale PV projects twice as fast
and with less than half the labour.
construction technique uses extruded concrete rails to replace metal
posts, racks and cable trenches found in conventional installations.
Automatically deposited, powerful adhesives replace all bolts and
robotic installation vehicle replaces manual labour for rack assembly
and panel placement.
It works continuously, using a fraction of the labour, while increasing
speed and quality.
A robotic PV installer
Construction materials last longer and Cost effective materials.
Technology eliminates low-skilled tasks including ditch-digging, bolt-
tightening and hauling heavy glass over uneven ground.
Saves time and money
System is fully based on Renewable energy.
Can be used in all types of climates and geographical regions.
Robotic solar PV maintenance
The accumulation of dust particles and debris on the surface of
photovoltaic (PV) panels negatively affects the performance the same
way as if on a cloudy day.
This is especially problematic in arid, dusty environments.
There is a need for an automated cleaning solution to this problem
which can service large ground based solar arrays up to an operating
park of 22,000 panels (20,000 square meters).
An efficient robotic device can service such large scale parks for
cleaning and built-in auto inspection for panels whilst conserving
power and cleaning water when compared to human crews and
current hardware alternatives.
Water for cleaning panels can also benefit efficiency because most
crystalline silicone solar cells have better current-voltage
characteristics at lower temperatures.
The water being sprayed by the robot cools the panels while cleaning
which can further increase efficiency of the array by up to 15%

System components:
Drive system
Cleaning head
Automatic inspection unit
Water spraying unit

Solar Robotic cleanser
A pure SPV based technology.
Helps improving and maintaining SPV efficiency.
Quality deterioration of panels is inhibited.
Auto inspection helps for better maintenance.
No need for human operation control.
Environmental aspects:
Brownfields and landfills:
concrete rail system is ballasted and requires no ground penetration, making non-
penetrating system ideal for brown fields, landfills and other areas where driving posts
are difficult, impossible or cost-prohibitive.
Damp environments and marine layers:
Performance risk due to metal corrosion is an inherent issue in damp regions, island
nations, and areas impacted by marine layer. concrete rail system and powerful
adhesives eliminate risks due to metal corrosion.

Dusty regions and deserts:
Soiling can reduce panel performance by double-digits. So robotic brush can help in
High wind areas:
ballasted concrete rails and low profile are ideally suited for gusting regions.

A robotic devices are nowadays are suitable technology for
installation of PV system
Cost effective technology
Labour effective technology
Takes very less time for installation
Can work in harsh climatic conditions
H. Hayden, P. Johnston, V. Garboushian, D. Roubideaux, APS
Installation and Operation of 300 kW of Amonix High Concentration
PV Systems, Proc. 29th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conf., New
Orleans, USA, (2002).
OSC Energy Inc., SolarWash, 7 Nov. 2008,