Mobile robots help cut solar costs

A US robotics company has built “solar robots” that could cut the cost of energy from solar farms. The machines, built by California-based QBotix, are expected to cut costs by […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A US robotics company has built “solar robots” that could cut the cost of energy from solar farms.

The machines, built by California-based QBotix, are expected to cut costs by around 20%. The firm claims the “robots” are operated by a single battery that manages the rotation of up to 200 panels at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems, whilst boosting energy production.

It works by gliding along a fixed rail, stopping at each array of solar panels and extending its arm to rotate them as needed. The company claims the robots only cost around $0.02 per watt compared to the $0.35-0.45 per watt used by traditional systems.

Its QBotix Tracking System (QTS) is also expected to generate between 8-15% more energy compared to single-axis tracking systems and 30-40% more energy than fixed-mount systems.

Wasiq Bokhari, CEO and founder of the company said: “Regardless of the choice of solar panels, inverters, foundations or other system components, the use of QTS will dramatically lower LCOE (Levelised Cost of Electricity) compared to all existing mounting or tracking systems.”