New robotics technology helps solar energy be more efficient
Recently there has been a new advancement in solar technology: robots to move solar panels. Reported by Carin Hall at energydigital, a robotics company called QBotix has created a new robot that will help reduce the costs of solar power.
QBotix, a new company bringing the power of robotics to solar energy, unveiled the QBotix Tracking System™ (QTS), a comprehensive dual-axis tracking system that employs rugged, intelligent and mobile robots to dynamically operate solar power plants and maximize energy output.
QTS provides the higher performance and energy output of dual-axis tracking at conventional single-axis tracking prices. QTS increases the energy production of ground-mounted solar power plants by up to 40 percent over existing fixed mount systems and lowers the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) by up to 20 percent.
This tracking system will help increase solar power production by aiming the solar panels at the sun throughout the course of the day.
QTS fundamentally re-invents the design of all solar tracking systems. QTS utilizes a pair of autonomous robots, one primary and one back-up, to control 300 kW of solar panels with high accuracy and reliability. The solar panels are installed on QBotix designed mounting systems that don't have any individual motors and are optimized for cost, strength, durability and installation simplicity. The robots travel on a track and adjust each mounting system to optimally face the sun in succession. Each robot replaces hundreds of individual motors and controllers found on conventional tracking systems. The embedded intelligence and data communication capabilities of each autonomous robot optimize power plant performance and enables detailed operational knowledge at an unprecedented level.
"Robots have proven themselves in extreme and diverse environments from the surface of Mars to battlefields and ocean depths. We're now deploying the innovations developed in robotics over the last several decades to manage solar power plants," said Wasiq Bokhari, CEO and founder of QBotix. "Our main focus is to deliver a compelling combination of high performance, reliability, competitive cost, and unprecedented intelligence to our customers. Regardless of the choice of solar panels, inverters, foundations or other system components, the use of QTS will dramatically lower LCOE compared to all existing mounting or tracking systems."
The QBotix Tracking System is helping to improve the advantages of solar energy while keeping costs low. This is an incredible development for clean technology and creates new incentive for moving toward solar power.