Skilancer Solar: A Centrally controlled, self-powered, robot for automatic cleaning of solar panels with elements of Artificial Intelligence.
The company is a brainchild of IIT Jodhpur alumni Neeraj Kumar with 3 years of work experience in the solar industry and Manish Kumar Das, an instrumentation engineer with 10 years of experience. Skilancer is in an industrial collaboration with Amity University where HOD of mechanical department Dr Basant Singh Sikarwar is mentoring us.
The major loss which occurs in the solar plant is the loss due to dust and debris deposition and it may vary from 7% – 26%. losing 26% of energy means losing around INR 24 Lacs/MW in a year and India own a solar plant capacity of 15GW or 15,000 MW that means we losing around 3,600 crores of energy each year in India which is surely an area of concern.
A solar plant whose installation cost is huge a plant owner can’t afford this much of loss so cleaning of plant is performed on a regular basis but the type of cleaning which is performed is very outdated which require a large manpower with ample amount of water and has many drawbacks like cost of cleaning is high, performed at an interval of 0f 10 – 15 days, water is consumed in this ‘scarcity of water’ era, panels are damaged due to acidity of water. So to prevent the losses, save water and automate the cleaning process we have built this self-powered automatic robot with elements of Artificial Intelligence for continuous and effective cleaning of solar panels.
This robot is capable of cleaning the panels twice a day to prevent dust deposition. Thus power loss due to dust deposition is reduced to less than 1%.
USP and Brief about the robot: The robot is self-powered as it has the pre-installed solar panel on the body of the robot which eventually means no operational cost. The motion is regulated by DC motor which is controlled by Arduino. The cleaning of the solar panels is done by a rotating brush made up of microfibre. The robots are designed for horizontal movement to clean the panels.
Maintenance: Skilancer provides full predictive and corrective maintenance services for the robotic system through the lifetime of the PV site, and is committed to the highest service availability and SLA (Service Level Agreement).
Financial Viability of 1 MW Plant: Payback Period: 6-8 Months, Opex: INR 1.5 – 1.8 Lakhs/MW/Year, Capex: INR 15-18 Lakhs, ROI: 73.34%