QBotix Receives $1M From DoE to Advance Robotic Solar-Panel Technology
Energy Department Funds Development of Solar-Panel Robots: The QBotix tracking system, shown here, is a robotic system for tilting solar panels toward the sun that can increase the output of the panels by up to 15 percent. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company received a $1 million grant by the Department of Energy to advance its technology, funds it will use for future demonstrations and to add support for concentrated photovoltaics to the system, a company spokesman said. (Source: QBotix)
Good points, jmiller - there are several variables to consider. Not only could the system optimize tracking with energy efficiency, I could also envision an automated protective cover for extreme weather protection (hail) and a system that could remove debris accumulation - perhaps some type of blower or rake - I wonder if that is on those systems...
That's a good point about the expected deliverables. But, I think ROI will take more than 6-12 months. The US gov't doesn't historically get a quick return on investment. It would be interesting to look at how the development not only helps Qbotix but all solar companies.
More details from Qbotix on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKiDeEL0leY
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
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