While the technology behind solar energy is quickly becoming more advanced, basic issues like efficient installation and cleaning are hindering its progress. Fortunately for solar panel companies and consumers interested in renewable energy, robots are working hard to make installation easier and bring down labor costs.
The New York Times reports that Alion Energy, a small California-based start-up is providing robots to solar farms help with maintenance. The company’s overall goal is to bring the cost of solar electricity down to something comparable to natural gas. Whiles large-scale solar farms have reduced their operating costs significantly over the past several years, the industry is looking for other ways to find savings.
“We’ve been in this mode for the past decade in the industry of really just focusing on module costs because they used to be such a big portion of system costs,” said Arno Harris, chairman of the board of the Solar Energy Industries Association, to the news outlet. “Eliminating the physical plant costs is a major area of focus through eliminating materials and eliminating labor.”
For an industry that is so focused on the future, the solar energy business has been plagued with low-tech issues. Installing panels at large farms can take thousands of man hours, and once they are in place, must be kept free of dirt and growing vegetation. Many solar energy professionals told The Times that they were excited about using robots to make these processes much easier.
If you are interested in learning more about affordable residential solar panel installation, contact West Coast Solar today. We proudly serve the Bay Area and can provide your family a well-designed and constructed solar energy system.