University of California, Riverside

Center for Environmental Research & Technology

Robotics for Renewables: UCR Students Engineer Solar Panel Cleaning Robots

Robotics for Renewables: UCR Students Engineer Solar Panel Cleaning Robots

March 15, 2018

Robotics Team 5On Friday, March 9th, 2018, 12 of UC Riverside’s Electrical and Computer Engineering students applied their engineering and robotics skills to one of the real-world problems associated with the use of solar panels: the removal of the dirt and debris that inhibit panel performance.

The students were divided into 4 teams, each of which was responsible for the design and construction of an autonomous, solar-powered robot designed to efficiently clean solar panels. Each team was scored by UCR faculty and representatives from the solar industry on criteria such as the hardware components, the renewable power system, the software and navigation algorithms, and cleaning effectiveness as demonstrated in 3 two-minute sessions on the solar panels at the UCR Solar Farm behind Lot 30. After the scores were compiled, first place went to the SolarBOI team, second place to the SolarMO team, and a tie for third place: Team Ilios and the SolarSweeper team. Special thanks go to SolarMax for providing the prizes for the competition!


Robotics Team 1  Robotics Team 2  Robotics Team 4  Robotics Team 6  Robotics Team 3

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