New Israeli JV to Develop Drone For Solar Panels Cleaning

Highlights :

  • The fully automated system will include a drone docking station for automatic battery replacement and cleaning fluid replenishment, enabling the system to operate continuously.
  • Solar panel cleaning is likely to soon become a major market as dirt, dust, mud and bird droppings greatly reduce solar panel efficiency, impacting power output.

Airobotics, an Israeli manufacturer of autonomous unmanned aircraft (drones) and aerial data platforms, and Solar Drone, an Israeli company specializing in solar farms services, have signed a binding agreement under which Airobotics will develop and supply to Solar Drone a unique solar panel cleaning drone system.

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The fully automated system will include a drone docking station for automatic battery replacement and cleaning fluid replenishment, enabling the system to operate continuously.

Many expect solar panel cleaning to soon become a multi-billion-dollar market. Dirt, dust, mud and bird droppings greatly reduce solar panel efficiency, impacting power output. This means solar panels must be cleaned frequently, especially in dirty/dusty/bird-rich environments.

Frequent cleaning is expensive and time consuming, especially when panels are remote, difficult to access or difficult to clean. Examples are floating solar farms (on water), rooftop panels and sun-tracking panels.

Airobotics and Solar Drone aim to leverage their expertise in drone services and solar energy systems to create and market a new drone-based cleaning solution for solar panel, forecasting sales of $10 million in the first three years in Israel, Europe, India and the UAE.

Meir Kliner, Airobotics CEO and Co-Founder, said, “Our agreement with Solar Drone can leverage Airobotics’ advanced core technology to help monitor and maintain solar farms. This is another step for us into a multi-billion-dollar market.”

Shmuel Yanai, Solar Drone Founder, said, “Today’s solutions are unwieldy, uneconomical, and unable to cope with modern solar farms. We believe the entry of Airobotics’ drone technology into the market is a game changer, with significant economic potential.”

Airobotics defines the features of its unmanned drone solution as follows:

  • Fully Automatic: Self deployment and landing; No pilot required
  • Safe: Geofencing; ‘return home’; GPS redundancy; emergency landing;parachute
  • Robotic arm: Automatic payload and battery exchange; Multiple payloads
  • Industrial Grade: Durable; corrosion resistant and weatherproof
  • Continuos Operation: Scheduled & On-demand
  • Accurate: 5 cm position accuracy

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