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QBotix Receives $1M From DoE to Advance Robotic Solar-Panel Technology
12/28/2012

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)
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)

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GTOlover
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Return on DoE Investment
GTOlover   1/2/2013 4:18:50 PM
NO RATINGS
The government (politicians specifically) do have a measure of how wisely money is spent. It is called re-election. We keep re-electing the same crooks and expect them to spend our tax money wisely???

I am always a skeptic, but if this company can build and prove working prototypes then they are worthy of a little research grant money. But the market should determine the cost effectiveness of their technology and not government mandates (or political donations).

robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
Re: Return on DoE Investment
robatnorcross   1/2/2013 4:33:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Gee, I hate to  throw a cloud over this BUT solar trackers have been available for YEARS. Check out an issue of HOME POWER magazine and you'll see a number of trackers FOR SALE NOW!

I wonder which politicians son-in-law this company belongs to?

robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
Re: Return on DoE Investment
robatnorcross   1/2/2013 4:34:00 PM
NO RATINGS
Gee, I hate to  throw a cloud over this BUT solar trackers have been available for YEARS. Check out an issue of HOME POWER magazine and you'll see a number of trackers FOR SALE NOW!

I wonder which politicians son-in-law this company belongs to?

GTOlover
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Return on DoE Investment
GTOlover   1/2/2013 4:34:58 PM
NO RATINGS
Amen!

irishmuse
User Rank
Gold
a 2 pronged approach
irishmuse   1/2/2013 5:09:24 PM
NO RATINGS
Yep,  they are going to make Solar competetive all right.  Wasting money on stuff like this, and then piling taxes on everything else until parity is acheived.

 

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Cost Versus Value
apresher   1/7/2013 1:25:05 PM
NO RATINGS
With the latest solar article I did for Design News, it is absolutely clear from the leading suppliers I interviewed that a key design goal is driving cost out of these systems.  In many cases given the size of typical larger installations, tracking systems are being applied to a row of panels to drive down costs. Even off-the-shelf PLCs (which should offer a low cost control) are often viewed as too expensive compared to custom controls that offer a specific solution (even if it's not true given development and engineering costs).  It's very hard to understand how this robotic approach has much of a chance to further enhance system performance compared to existing tracking solutions.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cost Versus Value
Cabe Atwell   5/21/2014 11:20:19 PM
NO RATINGS
The company recently was awarded another $12-million in funding, this time from European energy giants EON and Iberdrola for implementation of the QBotix system in Spain, Latin America and the UK. My question is what did they do with the original funding?

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