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SunPower acquires panel cleaner specialist

SunPower Corp has acquired Greenbotics Inc, a California-based company that offers panel cleaning products and services for large-scale solar power plants.

Greenbotics uses its proprietary CleanFleet robots and service offerings to wash solar systems in the Southwest and Western US. The robots can be configured for use with a variety of solar panels and mounting types, including fixed-tilt arrays and single-axis trackers, and reportedly offers a less costly and greener alternative to manual cleaning methods, pressure washers and sprayer trucks.  The robots use under a half a cup of water to clean each panel, which is approximately 90 per cent less than traditional cleaning methods, making it a good solution for solar systems built in desert conditions.

Most panels are cleaned at night to avoid disruption during the daytime, energy-producing hours.  Regularly cleaning solar panels located in dry, dusty regions can increase annual energy production by up to 15 per cent.

"SunPower's acquisition of Greenbotics and its CleanFleet robots will allow us to further maximize the proven system performance of our high efficiency, most reliable solar panels, which is critical to a project's economics and levelized cost of electricity," said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO.  "Customers in markets such as the Western US, the Middle East and Chile will especially benefit, as dust and debris is a challenge and water is in shorter supply.  We are very pleased to add the valuable services offered by Greenbotics to our energy services offerings."


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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity