Ecoppia, a developer of water-free PV solar panel cleaning solutions, has announced that its E4 robotic solar panel cleaning system is now operational on five PV installations in the Middle East — comprising of over 35MW of installed capacity.

With these new plants in tow, Ecoppia’s E4 systems are now cleaning around five million panels a month.

Eran Meller, CEO of Ecoppia, said: “Desert regions are prime candidates for solar PV, aside from one glaring issue: soiling. Reports indicate this phenomenon can reduce overall energy generation by as much as 40 percent, which significantly eats into a system owner’s return on investment. Our expanding project portfolio solidifies the E4 solution’s unrivaled ability to cost-effectively clean large-scale installations, and without wasting dwindling water resources in the process.”

Ecoppia’s new systems were retrofitted on the five plants — owned by Israeli solar developer Arava Power — in just six months.

Three of the plants are located in the Arava desert, while the remaining installations are in the Negev desert — each climate presenting the same traits of frequent dust storms and minimal rain.

Before the installation of the E4 systems, these panels needed to be cleaned off manually, costing millions of litres of water and heaps of manpower commitments. Ecoppia’s systems clean solar panels daily in order to remove 99% of dust — generating a higher output for the plant as a result.