Airobotics, an Israeli manufacturer of autonomous unmanned aircraft and aerial data platforms, and Solar Drone, an Israeli company specializing in solar farm services, have signed a binding agreement under which Airobotics will develop and supply to Solar Drone a solar panel cleaning drone system.
The fully automated system will include a drone docking station for automatic battery replacement and cleaning fluid replenishment, enabling the system to operate continuously.
“Our agreement with Solar Drone can leverage Airobotics’ advanced core technology to help monitor and maintain solar farms,” says Meir Kliner, Airobotics’s CEO and co-founder. “This is another step for us into a multi-billion-dollar market.”
Airobotics and Solar Drone aim to leverage their expertise in drones and solar energy systems to create and market a new drone-based cleaning solution, forecasting sales of $10 million in the first three years in Israel, Europe, India and the UAE.
“Today’s solutions are unwieldy, uneconomical and unable to cope with modern solar farms,” comments Shmuel Yanai, Solar Drone’s founder. “We believe the entry of Airobotics’ drone technology into the market is a game changer, with significant economic potential.”
Dirt, dust, mud and bird droppings greatly reduce solar panel efficiency, impacting power output. This means solar panels must be cleaned frequently. Frequent cleaning is expensive and time-consuming, especially when panels are remote, or difficult to access or clean. Examples are floating solar farms, rooftop panels and sun-tracking panels.