Vietnam firm introduces solar panel cleaning robot

The robot cost around VND200 million (US$8,642)

Vietnam firm introduces solar panel cleaning robot
SolarCleanBot-CT.R1, a solar panel cleaning robot made by Vietnam’s Chi Thanh Telecom and Technology Company. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

A Vietnamese enterprise has successfully produced a robot that is able to clean solar panels using less time and human power.

The SolarCleanBot-CT.R1 developed by Chi Thanh Telecom and Technology Company in Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province, was launched on Friday.

Le Hoang Anh, head of Chi Thanh’s technical department, said the robot can clean an area of 6,000 square meters in one day with two workers.

At present, it takes up to six workers to finish the job in five days.

The robot was made by engineers who used to be members of the champion team of the Robocon Vietnam 2011 competition, with the assistance of lecturers from Lac Hong University in Dong Nai.

Using the SolarCleanBot-CT.R1 is more effective than manual cleaning methods, according to the company.

Workers using the manual methods cannot reach solar panels at remote and dangerous locations. They may damage the surface of solar panels and roof structures.

Meanwhile, the SolarCleanBot-CT.R1 robot can access every panel, reduce manpower cost, and raise revenue from electricity output sales.

The robot does not rely on the size, quantity, and arrangement of solar panels and can flexibly move in the gap between panel rows.

Users can easily bring the robot to the rooftop by disassembling it. It takes users only five minutes to assemble it again.

The robot price is rather cheap as most spare parts are domestically produced.

The SolarCleanBot-CT.R1 reaches around 90 percent of the capacity of European solar panel cleaning robots but its price is just one-seventh of theirs’, at around VND200 million (US$8,642), Anh said.

The company will develop an application to process robot images using artificial intelligence (AI) that can detect stains on solar panels, determine suitable cleaning time, and even activate a fully automatic mode.

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