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Eco-friendly cleaning of solar farms with reduced energy and water-consumption

State-of-the-art solar cells are efficient – but are even more so when they are kept clean. A cleaning robot developed by Norwegian researchers enables solar panels to deliver at full capacity. The objective of the project was to develop a self-propelled robot that cleans solar panels in solar energy farms without the use of chemicals and with minimal energy consumption and water use.

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Manual cleaning being carried out at Scatec Solar’s solar energy farm in Jordan. Photo: Mohammad Ba’ra.

SINTEF’s Department of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine has developed a climate simulation device that generates different types of sun glass scale contamination, while the Department of Sustainable Energy Technology has carried out a study of the semi-automated cleaning of sun glass. NTNU has supplied measurements of the light transmission properties of soiled and cleaned glass.

ProDSP Technologies in Hungary is responsible for development of the robot.

The project has been funded by Norway Grants via the EEA Green Industry Programme.

Key Factors

Project duration

2016 - 2017