Fully autonomous robots clean solar panels nightly to maintain maximum efficiency

03/31/2014 - 00:00

By Stu Robarts - 

The dusty desert environments where many solar plants are located can make their photovoltaic arrays dirty and reduce their effectiveness. Cleaning the panels can be a time-consuming and expensive process. An Israeli solar plant is now said to be the first to have fully-automated cleaning in place.

Ketura Sun was the first commercial solar field in Israel. It spans 8 hectares (20 acres) and produces 9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. Located in the Negev desert, the plant is jointly owned by Siemens AG and Arava Power, which is Israel's leading solar developer.