India’s Sleepwalkers unveils dry-cleaning robotic device for solar panels


From pv magazine India

Tamil Nadu-based Sleepwalkers has introduced Zero Dirt-BOLT, an automated robotic device for waterless dust removal from solar panels. The device operates without rails and is suitable for ground-mounted and rooftop/RCC installations, including fixed, seasonal tilt, and single-axis trackers.

The company claims that the robotic device achieves 99% cleaning efficiency, making it ideal for PV installations in deserts. It is available in automated and semi-automated models, offering dry, wet, or hybrid cleaning modes.

According to Anil Zinjurke, chief marketing officer of Sleepwalkers, the robot is powered by an onboard lithium battery and can travel 2 km to 3 km on a single charge. It can clean more than 2 MW in a day, depending on site conditions. The installation is easy, as no extra railing is required.

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“The automatic models self-charge from inbuilt solar panels. In the pick-and-place model, a battery swapping facility is provided,” said Zinjurke. “Our wet cleaning robots can reduce the water consumption by half, compared to the conventional manual wet cleaning.” 

The PV cleaning robot is designed to handle panel-to-panel irregularities up to 25 mm and land slope undulations up to 15 degrees. It features a high torque motor, industrial-grade controller, SCADA and cloud connectivity, and weather monitoring.

Zero Dirt-BOLT robots are UL-certified and are currently deployed for around 300 MW of PV capacity, in various sizes ranging from 2 meters to 8 meters.

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