The award is part of the US$10 million SunShot Incubator Program which provides early-stage assistance to help startup companies cross technological barriers to commercialization. The award will fund the development of a new generation of robots for QBotix Tracking System or QTS which according to the company lowers the levelized cost of energy at large-scale PV power plants by up to 20%.
"We are delighted to have been selected for this highly competitive award and look forward to collaborating with the agency on improving solar power plants," said Wasiq Bokhari, CEO of QBotix. "Lowering the cost of solar will boost our economic competitiveness in a number of ways, but it will require innovations across every segment in the supply chain. At QBotix, we’re taking a novel approach to balance of systems by using robotics to dramatically reduce the cost of operating solar power plants."
The QTS is a dual-axis tracking system that employs a mobile robot which aims solar modules toward the sun, adjusting their position throughout the day to enable maximum energy yield. The QTS controls 300kW of industry-standard solar panels with a pair of autonomous robots, one primary and one back-up.
The advantage of the QTS system is that stationary motors are then not necessary and the building materials are also lesser hence lowering cost and time of PV plant development. The QTS comes with a monitoring software that gives detailed information about power plant operation.