Posts Tagged ‘international electrotechnical commission’

17 July

Further Expansion By QBotix, Integration of Robotics Into Solar Tracking System


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links and note magenta)

Do you remember one of our posts during 2012 about a tracking system designed by a new company called QBotix?  To refresh your/our memory, please refer to the paragraph from our previous 2012 post, below:

The recently unveiled RTS by QBotix, a new company (from Menlo Park, CA) that is bringing the power of robotics to solar energy. The Robotic Tracking System (RTS) is a comprehensive dual-axis tracking system (at a single-axis system’s cost but generates up to 15% more energy) that employs rugged, intelligent and mobile robots to dynamically operate solar power plants and maximize energy output.  By having the robot (some call it solbot) running on a track, as a monorail,  servicing up to 200 solar panels, at 40-minute intervals throughout the day, this tracking system can help the solar panels to receive a performance boost of as much as 40% over existing fixed mount systems and lowers the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) by up to 20%.  Furthermore, RTS offers fast installation and has low operation and maintenance costs, and is compatible with all solar panels and mounting foundations.  When connecting with each panel, RTS adjusts the angle of the panel and collects data about the panel.  I can see the potential of a self-cleaning RTS/solbot that may be programmed to conserve/minimize the water use in cleaning all solar panels.  Wouldn’t that be great?!  Apparently, RTS also has a certified IP-65, meaning it is impervious to dust and water.

Be sure to also take a look at our interview this year (2014), with Matt Lugar, VP of Sales and Marketing of QBotix, during InterSolar North America 2014, at Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, below:

Much has happened to QBotix since we last interviewed  its founder and CEO Wasiq Bokhari and Director of Engineering Lalo Ruiz in 2012. Recently QBotix has announced that it has raised $12 million in Round B  financing through its venture capital partners, E.On Climate and Renewables and Iberdrola Renewables. This is in addition to having already successfully completed a $1 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative award project, and received the  recognition by Fast Company as one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in robotics. When we met QBotix in 2012, it was a design with zero installations, but now it’s gone global, with 80 MW  installations and contracts or partnerships in U.S., Europe, Latin America, Australia, Japan, and further development in Chile and South Africa. QBotix has the revolutionary, highly efficient technology that will contribute significantly to reduce the balance of system costs in solar projects. We will look forward to its continued expansion and spreading throughout our planet.


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~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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2 April

What Is Solar Cell (5)


If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at Thank you.

Dear readers/friends, I hope you will stay with me for 3 more posts (up to What Is Solar Cell (7)) before we move on to another topic in solar energy. Thank you for your patience.

In the previous post, you have seen that Boron and Phosphorous may be used to as dopping material to be added to Silicon in the process of making semiconductor material for solar cell. But there are also other alternatives.  As a matter of fact, instead of silicon, gallium arsenide (GaAs) is another possibility.  GaAs based multijunction devices are the most efficient solar cells to date, reaching 42.3% by the triple junction metamorphic cell.  High-efficiency multijunction cells were originally developed for applications such as satellites and space exploration.  Triple junction GaAs solar cells were also being used as the power source of the Dutch four-time World Solar Challenge winners Nuna in 2003, 2005, and 2007.

Scientists and engineers are constantly looking for alternatives that would help to increase efficiency and decrease cost.  Most commercially available solar cells are capable of producing electricity for at least 20 years without significant decrease in efficiency.  Typical warranty given by panel manufacturers is for a period of 25-30 years, without having output falling below a specified percentage of the rated capacity. So, there are products and technologies that need to be tested and validated.  In U.S., NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), located in Golden, Colorado, established in 1974 and began its operation in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute, tests and validates solar technologies.

Keep in mind that there are three reliable certifications of solar equipment: UL, IEEE, and IEC.

  1. UL: Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization established in 1894 and has its headquarters in Northbrook, IL.
  2. IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE (read I-triple E) is a non-profit professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation related to electricity. (45% of its members are located outside of US).
  3. IEC: International Electrotechnical Commission is a non-profit, non-governmental international standards organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies.

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