Solar Plant in Israel is Now Self-Cleaning

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Developing large solar power plants in the desert makes a lot of sense in many ways.  Wide swaths of land coupled with unobstructed sunlight makes for a compelling case.  One of the drawbacks of being located in the desert is the dust that gets kicked up by the winds which eventually settles on the surface of the solar panels located nearby.  The efficiency of the panels dwindles and time, money, manpower, and water is spent to constantly clean the panels.

Located in the Negev desert, the Ketura Sun solar park spans 20 acres and produces 9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.  The manual cleaning process takes approximately 5 days and can pose a risk to the cleaners but also sensitive equipment.  Without cleaning, the efficiency of the panels could drop by as much as 35 percent.

Thanks to Ecoppia, the Ketura Sun solar park no longer has to worry about dust or expend time and money to manually clean the panels.  The panels are now cleaned nightly by Ecoppia E4 robots that clean 54 square feet in 30 seconds.  The robots use a rotating microfiber brush and an airflow cleaning system to remove 99 percent of the dust build-up.  No water is required.  No additional energy is required either.  The robots are powered by their own solar panels and battery system.

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  1. How much do the Ecoppia E4 robots add to the operating costs of the plant and who maintains
    the robots? This technology is a significant boost to PV plants’ operational efficiency and its overall financial return. Are any operational in the USA at this time?

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