While the entire world especially U.S. is busy in adopting solar tech in order to keep the pressure off traditional electricity sources, at that time, why robots which is entering almost every sector should be lagged behind in this sector? California based startup QBotix Inc. has come up with a system to move solar panels using a robot so that the panels could track the sun in a cheaper way than standard systems. The new system bets to cut the cost of producing solar electricity by up to 20 percent. The company is preparing to release its so called solar robots next month.
More than nine months ago, Silicon Valley start-up QBotix Inc. built battery-powered prototype robots named ‘Solbot’ that ride on a monorail around the arrays of solar panels and link up with each to mechanically tilt them toward the sun without needing any extra steel and motors.
The company invented a two axis tracker system. In fact these are the very two axis tracker system that moves around the arrays of solar panels via Solbot. Each robot can adjust 200 solar panel arrays in 40 minutes and consumes about 30 cents of electricity a day.
According to Wasiq Bokhari, CEO and founder of QBotix, the company’s robotics technology is an alternative to currently available dual-axis or single-axis tracking systems, which rotate solar panels toward the sun to increase energy production. Without any cost difference, the project owners can generate 8 to 15 percent more energy compared to single-axis tracking systems and 30 to 40 percent more energy than fixed-mount systems.
The modular system consists of 200 1.5-kilowatt trackers. Silicon Valley start-up QBotix has already raised $7.5 million since 2010 from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, New Enterprise Associates Inc., Siemens Venture Capital GmbH, Firelake Capital Management LLC, and angel investors.
Though the company hasn’t disclosed the price, but Bokhari hinted that the systems will cost about the same as current/standard single-axis trackers cost.
Bokhari is planning to launch this innovative technology next month. QBotix will be selling its systems in 300-kilowatt units that include a robot, a back-up robot, steel track and tracking stands for the solar panels. The lithium ion-powered Solbots will be GPS-enabled and communicate wirelessly, gathering data on the operations of a solar power plant.