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Keeping solar panels spotless

How do you clean solar panels?

An Israeli robotics startup has one answer.  Eccopia uses robots designed for arid climates, so they don’t need water to keep dust and other particles off arrays.  Dirt can actually decrease panel productivity by up to 35%, according to Eccopia estimates.  The cleaning schedule can be programmed based on weather forecasts or company needs.

Using robots is a more ecological and cost-conscious alternative to humans, who have time constraints on hours they are able to work and can waste water, according to Eccopia CEO, Eran Meller.  He says that companies should see a return on investment within two years.  One customer in Israel experienced a return on their investment of 14 months on its 100-megawatt installation and saved 66 million gallons of water.

While Eccopia sales are concentrated in Israel, Meller sees arid climates in the U.S. such as in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, which are leaders in solar farm deployments, as logical next locations.

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