In today’s world, almost everything is powered using electricity. Power can be generated from renewable and non-renewable resources, but the generation of electricity from a renewable resource is more reliable and less harmful than the non-renewable resource. Harmful gases like carbon-di-oxide and methane are emitted into the atmosphere in the process of electricity generation using non-renewable resources.
The generation of electricity from the sun using solar panels is the most promising way to fulfill the global energy need. Solar power is a renewable source of energy which is abundantly available in nature thus it can be utilized in a good way for power generation. Solar panels turn the light(photons) from the sun to electricity.
But the efficiency of solar panels is affected by environmental effects like dust accumulation, temperature, and humidity. The cleaning of these panels is done manually. The manual cleaning has the following drawbacks like damage of panels, injuries to people and movement difficulties. By using an Automated robot for cleaning the solar panel increases efficiency when compared to conventional cleaning methods without any major drawbacks.
In this project, Arduino UNO microcontroller board is used to program the robot. The following are the components used to build the setup.
Arduino UNO: It is a microcontroller board based on ATmega328P. It is an open-source electronics prototyping platform that allows the user to generate interactive electronic projects. It is programmed using Arduino IDE by connecting it to a computer through a cable.
DC motor: It converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. DC motor is used to move the robot and to rotate the wiper.
Frame: The frame is designed based on the solar panel dimension and all the other components are attached to this frame.
Motor Driver: It is a current amplifier used to convert low-current signal to high-current signal.
The frame is build based on the solar panel dimension. Cleaning brush or wiper is attached to the motor that moves along the length of the solar panel in the vertical direction results in mopping action, which cleans the panel. The frame also consists of another motor which helps in the linear motion of the robot. So that all the surface of the solar panel is covered. The movement of the robot is achieved with the help of DC motors coupled with Gears and wheels. Arduino board is used to control the rotation of wiper and the movement of the robot.
By using robots to clean the panel reduces the threat to human life and it can be installed for rooftop solar panels as well thus it is difficult to access for cleaning.Kit required to develop Solar panel cleaning robot: