The accumulation of particles, dirt, and grime on the surface of the solar panel degrades the performance of the solar panel in the same way as it does on a cloudy day. This means that solar panels are not being used properly. However, over time, panels become less efficient as they become fouled and unable to absorb energy as specified. Cleaning done by a Human operator can be sometimes risky and time-consuming, There is an urgent need for an automated cleaning solution to this complex problem that can accommodate large ground-mounted solar systems for their efficient cleaning.
Hence considering this problem, we have come up with a robot that cleans the dirty solar panel autonomously and will help it to work at its potential limit without affecting its original quality. While designing, various parameters have been taken into consideration making it consumer friendly and a helping hand for energy efficiency.
"SOLARO" - A SOLAR-OPERATED AUTONOMOUS SOLAR PANEL CLEANING ROBOT - described herein is a solar-operated autonomous solar panel cleaning robot, which cleans dirty solar panels autonomously without using water. The robot includes a cleaning mechanism for providing water-less cleaning, a turning mechanism using a differential drive, and edge detecting mechanism using the infrared sensor for detecting the edge of the solar panel array. The robot is operated on solar energy and uses a Lithium-ion battery. The cleaning and movement of the robot are controlled by a microcontroller, which is connected to a Bluetooth module, motor drives, and infrared sensors. The size of the robot can be varied as per the size of the solar panel array.