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
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.