This solar panel cleaner can increase energy production efficiency by 30%

It can now also be delivered by drones
Ameya Paleja
The Pleco during one of its cleaning missions
The Pleco during one of its cleaning missions


BladeRanger, an Israel-based company, has done what solar farms have needed for a long timepanels' efficiency. An automated solution to clean up the panels without any human intervention whatsoever. The cleaning done by the Roomba for solar panels can help increase the efficiency of the panels by as much as five percent.

As the world looks to more renewable methods of energy production, solar panels are the top choice among users for various reasons. The cost of making the panels and generating power from them has been on a downward trajectory for a while now. Additionally, the efficiency of the panels is regularly improving.

Interesting Engineering has reported how the record for the highest efficiency solar cell was broken on multiple occasions just last year. Solar cells in the near future will breach the 30 percent energy efficiency mark, which is a huge achievement for science. However, in the real world, the smallest things, like dust particles, can impact the output of these cells.

Robots to clean solar cells

With solar farms increasing in size and energy production capabilities, one can find solar panels extending to thousands of feet. Cleaning them manually is labor intensive and carries multiple risks ranging from workplace injuries to occupational hazards for the cleaning crew.

Instead, BladeRanger has made solar panel cleaning extremely straightforward. All one needs to do is place the Pleco cleaner on the panel and press the Go button. The cleaner does the job on its own and does not require an operator to control or handle it over the panels.

BladeRanger has also ensured that the robot does not weigh more than 44 pounds (20 kg) ensuring that it can be placed on the panels by a single operator. More recently, the company also successfully trialed the delivery of the robots using drones, New Scientist reported.

Advantages of cleaning robots

Regularly cleaning panels can deliver up to a 30 percent increase in energy generated from a site, providing better returns on investment. There are a few robotic cleaning solutions available in the market, but Blade Ranger is a completely water-free cleaner robot. This not only helps achieve cleaning in a sustainable way but also ensures that the technology can be deployed in areas where there is a scarcity of water as well.

An added benefit of using an automated solution like BladeRanger is the surveillance data it can gather for you while it does the cleaning. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), the solution can provide insights into preventive maintenance requirements and help in avoiding the breakdown of the panels.

When deployed regularly, the robot cleaner can provide more timely data to act upon and help in root-cause analysis of the problem areas early on. This also frees up team members to focus on more important tasks and help the business grow. By delivering a reliable and sustainable cleaning solution, Blade Ranger wants to herald a new future that can tap into the extensive energy of the Sun.

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