A robotic invention by Ridha Azaiz, an aspiring German Engineer, is taking the global solar industry by storm. Spurred by the need to keep solar systems clean, or the energy yield of the solar panels would decline, Azaiz developed the Solarbrush.
Azaiz explains that a dirty solar power system only produces two thirds of its power, so Ridha Azaiz came up with a solution. Where solar power systems are most useful – in the aptly named ‘Sunbelt Countries’ like Morocco and Saudi Arabia or Arizona and California – sand deposits are a major problem for solar panels. His Solarbrush robot brushes sand and dust from solar panels until all the particles fall into the gaps away from each panel and onto the ground. Other robots suck, wash and clean the panels with water and detergent.
Azaiz explains these devices are difficult to use and require pumps and pipes which are usually more expensive than a small car. However, Solarbrush produced in higher quantities would only cost around $3,000 per robot. Solarbrush expects that to be profitable, four robots at a time need to be supervised by a service team. Currently, the Solarbrush robot needs to be manually moved from one row of solar panels to the next.
His technology is being noticed and Azaiz’s Solarbrush won the hy! Berlin Hardware Award. Now he is bringing his technology to America, and specifically San Fransisco where he will showcase his technology during the Clean Tech Forum and meet with potential investors.