Ecoppia to retrofit 40MW Israel solar plant with robot cleaning technology

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Ecoppia's waterless robots provide a range of benefits for plant operators especially in desert regions. Credit: Ecoppia

Israel-based automated solar solutions provider Ecoppia has signed a deal to retrofit a 40MW solar plant in Israel with its robotic cleaning technology.

The plant, which is jointly owned by Israel-based solar developer Arava Power and EDF Energies Nouvelles Israel, was commissioned in July this year.

Dirt and dust covering solar panels, which is also known as soiling, is a significant challenge to PV project operators, especially in desert regions. Soiling can decrease a plant’s energy output by up to 40%.

Traditional cleaning methods include large amounts of labour using water and brushes, with water again being a scarce commodity particularly in desert environments. However, Ecoppia’s robot cleaners are fixed permanently to rails on an array. Powered by their own solar panels, using neither water nor labour, the robots clean automatically each night. Dust sticking to the panel is considerably reduced and output kept high. Automisation also negates problems with predicting dust storms.

An Ecoppia spokesperson told PV Tech that the robots do not touch the panel, except for gentle microfibres that do the cleaning, which minimises any potential for damage. However, this latest news comes shortly after German testing house, PI Berlin, undertook a study, which found that some automated cleaning solutions have the potential to damage module performance. There was no reference to Ecoppia's system in the PI Berlin report.

Eran Meller, chief executive of Ecoppia, said: “It's the next step for the solar industry. We're seeing significant value creation in all the projects we're currently involved in, both here in the Middle East and in India. For many of the big industry players, a solution that can clean panels nightly, can respond instantly to weather and is waterless – we feel solutions like ours have the potential to become the industry standard.”

Ron Adam, the permanent representative of Israel to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), said: “It's very exciting to see the progress Ecoppia is making in terms of winning large clients – it's because of promising technology like theirs that we believe Israel has a bright future in the international solar industry.”

Ecoppia’s robots clean five million solar panels each month.

In August Ecoppia introduced its advanced E4 control system including the integration of real-time and forecasted information on precipitation, cloudiness and air quality.

In May it also announced that its E4 robotic solar panel cleaning system wasoperational on five PV installations in the Middle East – comprising more than 35MW of installed capacity.

Read Next

July 26, 2021
A solar-wind-energy storage hybrid project is to power a Madagascan mine after Rio Tinto signed a power purchase agreement with independent power producer CrossBoundary Energy.
July 23, 2021
EDF has secured a contract to lead the development of a 240MWp floating solar project in Laos that will be co-located with a 1.08GW hydropower plant.
PV Tech Premium
July 5, 2021
As it matures, the solar industry is moving beyond the use of Performance Ratios (PR) as the go-to performance metric for operational sites. Christopher West, head of central engineering - solar PV delivery unit at Statkraft, argues the case for PRs to be replaced by alternative, more evolved methods of assessment.
June 21, 2021
The cost of insuring operational solar farms has skyrocketed over the course of the year, triggered by carriers rethinking their approaches to natural catastrophes and other extreme weather events. This has placed additional importance on mitigation strategies. Kevin Christy, COO for North America at Lightsource bp, details how the solar developer has adapted its strategy in the field.
May 24, 2021
PV Tech Power volume 27 is now available to download, providing a comprehensive and detailed analysis of Europe’s solar market.
May 20, 2021
EDF Renewables has partnered with a new portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group to acquire a French agrophotovoltaic developer with a 2.4GW solar portfolio.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
July 29, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021