HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Robotic Solar Panels Produce More Electricity

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Large-scale commercial installations prime target
Beth Stackpole   9/17/2012 7:08:56 AM
Looks like a pretty compelling use case, particularly for large-scale, commercial implementations where there are hundreds of solar panels. Not sure the cost incurred with a robotic-based system can hold up to smaller or even residential installations, though.

akwaman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Large-scale commercial installations prime target
akwaman   9/17/2012 10:31:20 AM
NO RATINGS
I would think this would be most cost effective on newly installed systems.  I would be interested to know how this would work retrofitting existing installations.  A 15% increase in output of panels would add a substantial amount of power to even residential systems.  To reduce the number of panels needed by 15% may make, even residential systems, more viable.  I would be concerned with the security of this system in adverse weather conditions, like how much wind could this system handle?

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Large-scale commercial installations prime target
Jack Rupert, PE   9/17/2012 12:15:44 PM
NO RATINGS
I would be interested in seeing a comparison of the costs of a robotic system vs. the cost of individual panels.  Since regardless of the type of installation you implement, you still need space, I'm wondering if as the panels become a commodity it would be cheaper to jsut add additional panels rather than trying to relocate them over a robotic track?

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
I think you missed the point
ttemple   9/17/2012 3:25:19 PM
NO RATINGS
I think the point here is to not have motors on each pan/tilt axis of the panels.  You drive the robot to the panel and make the adjustment, so there are no motors on the panels.  This reduces the number of motors and drives in the system to no more than 3 - one to move the robot from panel to panel, and two to adjust the pan/tilt axes.  A clever mechical design could probably get it done with a single motor and some clutches.

The robot moves the motors to the solar panels, makes the adjustment(s) on that panel, moves to the next panel, makes the adjustments, etc.  That is why it takes 40 minutes to do the adjustments on a 300kw installation - it is a round-robin affair.  It can only get to each panel so often.

I think this is a pretty clever idea.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: I think you missed the point
Charles Murray   9/17/2012 4:59:14 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, ttemple. I was unsure why this was better than existing tracking systems until I read your explanation. I'd really like to see a comparison, in terms of power consumed and cost, of this system versus conventional tracking.

ProcadSoftware
User Rank
Iron
Procad Software!
ProcadSoftware   9/17/2012 7:56:52 PM
PROCAD, a leader in 3D and 2D piping design software, released its newest product PapriCAD 3D. Built on a scalable data-centric platform, PapriCAD® 3D offers a comprehensive solution that delivers 3D modeling, component design, material reports plus AutoCAD. Quickly transform ideas into data rich 3D piping installations with minimal training, accelerated productivity and lowered costs.http://bit.ly/NmdQGu

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Panel rotation in synchronize with position of sun
Mydesign   9/17/2012 11:45:19 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Elizabeth, I had seen a similar system in a solar farm. Al the panel structure is attached to a small motor, which will rotate the entire panel structure in synchronize with the position of sun. This will help to fall the sun rays directly over the panel and hence a better efficiency.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Re: I think you missed the point
Mydesign   9/17/2012 11:50:05 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Ttemple, instead of doing the rotation to individual panel, I would like to suggest another method. Fix all the solar panel in a single structure and by using a powerful motor they can rotate the entire structure in a single move. The power for motor rotation can be generated from solar panel itself.

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: I think you missed the point
ttemple   9/18/2012 6:53:48 AM
NO RATINGS
I presume that a 300kw "farm" would cover possibly acres of area, which would make a single movement impractical.  If there were both pan and tilt adjustments it would be more impractical.

catfish
User Rank
Iron
poor picture
catfish   9/18/2012 9:52:27 AM
NO RATINGS
 

This picture may not represent the article well.  Look at where the shadows are vs. the direction of the panels.  I am all for Solar but there are too many magical mirrors and fuzzy government math claims to convince me it is even close to being economical.  Why doesn't someone print the actual facts and figures?

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
Kickstarter offers a gazillion ideas for businesses that are seeking start-up funding. The crowdfunding site also features new gadgets from companies struggling to get their product out to customers. We took a look at the gadgets currently featured and found a number of cool ideas that are seeking funding angels.
Design and manufacturing need each other -- and the engineers behind them. Don’t forget that.
The US Department of Energy has unveiled an investment of up to $30 million to accelerate the development of modules and materials to drive down the cost of solar energy.
A study by the Swiss government determined the type of human errors that lead to engineering disasters and ranked those errors by percentage.
A fabric designer and chemical engineer have teamed up to design fabric woven with solar panels for the future of wearable, autonomously powered technology.
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 12 - 16, Analytics for the IoT: A Deep Dive into Algorithms
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7 | 8 | 9 | 10


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Course June 28-30:
Sponsored by Stratasys
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2016 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service