A new and improved Qbotix solar tracking system is smaller, simpler, much more efficient and much more reliable. The new robot, designed to adjust the position of solar panels in order for them to collect as much sun energy as possible, was showcased earlier this week.
After the launch of the original version- SolBot R-200 at the beginning of 2013, the Qbotix had a wild success and a great commercial acceptance. It was installed at five relatively small-scale power plants in California, Arizona and Japan with cumulative capacity of 200 kilowatts. It delivers the equivalent of dual-axis tracking systems that allow following of the sun in both vertical and horizontal direction, but it costs as much as a single-axis tracking system, which moves in only one of the directions.
Now the makers are aiming even bigger, claiming that the next generation model, SolBot R-225, can handle 340 kilowatts of solar panels, while having fewer components making it easier to fit on site. In addition to this, SolBot R-225 is smaller and much more reliable in extreme environmental conditions.
The performance of the new Qbotix robot was increased by bringing the number of moving parts down to only two. According to Wasiq Bokhari, CEO and founder of the manufacturing company, this ultimately leads to greater performance of solar power plants.
Initially, the company received a $1 million grant from the SunShot initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy, however by now the robot has brought additional $5 million from investors including NEA, Firelake Capital and DFJ JAIC. The total investments sum up to $12.5 million.