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Hydraulic robotic cleaning solutions for ground-mounted solar plants

France’s AX Solar Robot has unveiled two battery-free, hydraulic-powered cleaning solutions for ground-mounted PV plants. It is also distributing a modular battery-powered solution suitable for rooftop installations.

AX Solar Robot, a French PV cleaning specialist, is offering two new hydraulic-powered solutions for ground-mounted solar installations.

“The technology behind them is 100% mechanical and hydraulic. You have to pressurize the water with a pump, which allows our customers to stay in operation all day long without interchanging the batteries, as you have to do with the other robotic solutions offered on the market,” Grégoire Demeestere, responsible for development at AX Solar Robot, told pv magazine. “Because it is a 100% mechanical solution, the maintenance and support are clearly facilitated.”

The WetSlider, which was first launched at Intersolar Europe in October 2021, is a 1P tracker dedicated cleaner. With a tilt capacity of +/- 50 degrees, the company claims there is no need to interrupt the tracking during cleaning. Its traction wheels can be manually adjusted to the exact dimension of the solar modules’ frames, fitting modules with total height from 1.570 mm to 2,130 mm.

The robot measures 2,610 mm x 725 mm x 335 mm for a 2150 mm brush, and weighs in at 51 kg. Its hydraulic motor works at a minimum 60 bar pressure and consumes 0.25 liters of water per square meter at a standard cleaning speed of 18.85 meters per minute.

“An efficient cleaning can be provided on rows up to 450 m length, and with two robots working in parallel on the same pump,” the company said. “This represents a cleaning capacity of up to 3 MW per day, with no battery limitation, allowing around-the-clock operations.”

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The WetSlider XL completes the offering range of the company, as it allows for the cleaning of tables with lengths of up to 6.5 meters. Its patent-pending architecture brings a vertical translation capability for the brush system along the tables. The product will be available in the market by the end of 2022, according to the company.

“This solution brings more flexibility thanks to a unique double adaptation,” said Demeestere. “You can adapt the robot to the size of the panel, and you can adapt a second sliding frame to the size of the table. So, one single tool can be used to serve multiple PV operations with the same brush size, while avoiding terrain degradation and simplifying he logistics considerations compared to vehicle-mounted systems.”

Both versions of the robot are manufactured by the company in Lille, France, and are distributed throughout the world. AX Solar Robot is also the sole distributor in France of the new solarROBOT, which was developed by Germany’s TG hyLIFT. The battery-powered modular cleaning solution comes with an auto-drive function and a steering assist system. It is suitable for rooftop, carport, ground mounted, and floating installations.

The robot measures 575 mm x 685 mm x 270 mm. It can be used on slopes of 0 degrees to 45 degrees. The solution has a cleaning capacity of 1.100 square meters per hour to 2.400 square meters per hour, and is powered by a 36 V ion battery, to a maximum of 42 V.

The solarROBOT cleaning solution for rooftop applications

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Source: pv magazine