Interview about 2022 DIA Award-winning Works | FBOT X3 Solar Panel Cleaning Robot: Intelligent Solar Panel “Cleaner"

Why power rationing has to be implemented when summer comes in recent years? The reason is the rising power consumption in summer and the serious imbalance between power supply and demand, so it is extremely urgent to build a new energy system based on non-fossil energy such as hydropower, wind power and solar power.


As the global energy crisis and air pollution are becoming increasingly prominent, the transformation from carbon-based energy to green energy must be accelerated. Therefore, PV power generation has been developing rapidly in the world, and the installed capacity of PV power plant is increasing year by year. The PV panel surfaces are mostly made of glass. If dust is attached to them for a long time, the glass surfaces will be eroded. In addition, dust can reflect, scatter and absorb solar radiation, which will reduce the output power of PV panels. In a sense, the cleanliness of PV panels will affect the efficiency of PV power generation.


Aiming at the blue ocean of PV panel cleaning, Suzhou ifbot Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. has developed the "FBOT X3 Solar Panel Cleaning Robot “ based on its years of technical accumulation and the joint efforts of the R&D team. This product won the 2022 DIA Gold Award in the Product Group, and has been commercialized. It was launched at SNEC 2021 PV Power Expo in June 2021. Through offline exhibitions and online channels, the small-scale sales of this product was realized in 2022, and mass production is expected to start in June 2023.


Receive the award at the 2022 DIA Award Ceremony (the first from left is the general manager of Suzhou ifbot Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd.)

Traditional PV panel cleaning is mainly completed through manual dry cleaning or water cleaning. This method has the disadvantages of great cleaning difficulty, low cleaning efficiency, high cost and waste of water resources, and may even cause damage to the PV panels. The FBOT X3 Solar Panel Cleaning Robots can be quickly deployed by a single person, and dozens of robots can be managed simultaneously through the mobile app. The robot can carry out cleaning at night, and in case of low battery, it can self-position and return to base independently, without affecting the power generation of the PV power plant during the day.


IFBOT X3 Solar Panel Cleaning Robot

Owner: Suzhou ifbot Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd.

Design organization: SuperDesign (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.

Design team: Shen Xiangbo, Lu Xincheng, Lv Zhixuan, Chen Liang, Hua Peng



"Crawler" movable suckers

PV panels are usually fragile, so when designing robots, ifbot’s R&D team first excluded the application of wheels as the travelling mechanism. After numerous brainstorming, they finally chose the movable sucker. The front sucker moves forward and the rear sucker follows, so that the robot can move like a crawler. With the movable suckers, the robot can be tightly absorbed on the PV panel, and the auxiliary suckers distributed in dislocation allows the robot to walk more stably and freely on a 0°-45° smooth inclined plane.


It's harder to move on a level road than to climb a hill

Most people may think that since the robot can move on an inclined plane, flat surface is also OK, but this is not the truth. For a long time, although the robot has excellent climbing ability, it can't tell the direction when walking on a flat surface. To solve this problem, the R&D team went through a long period of experimental demonstration, and finally skillfully achieved a technological breakthrough with the help of sensors. Equipped with integrated sensors, the robot can accurately detect the edge of the PV array, automatically adjust the angle and independently calculate the best and most effective cleaning route, thus realizing full coverage of the area to be cleaned.


Great energy in the small body

The design concept of lightweight and intelligence is realized in FBOT X3 Solar Panel Cleaning Robot. Lightweight is embodied in the innovative use of aerospace materials - a single robot is just 6.2kg. Ultra-light weight can reduce the handling burden of users and the damage to the PV panels. Intelligence is embodied in the functions of completely independent cleaning, route planning, return to base in case of low battery, etc., which can help users save time and labor. The robot has super dust absorption ability and wall angle adaptability. A single cleaning unit has two nanofiber rolling brushes with the same rotation direction, which can stir up dust particles adhered to the surface and gather them, and instantly suck them into the dust box by the centrifugal force of the turbocharged centrifugal fan.


Never stop innovation

The cleaning robot performs well in dry and dusty areas, and is highly recognized by customers. In the humid South China, there may be animal feces and bryophytes on PV panels. ifbot plans to iterate the cleaning robot to better meet the needs of different users. In the future, aiming at larger cleaning objects such as PV power plant, ifbot will launch a new generation of land-air integrated device, that is, using UAV as the carrier to accurately connect the solar panel cleaning robot to building structures to be cleaned, so as to realize automatic and large-range delivery and recycling of cleaning robots, and assist manual operations in an all-around way. The innovative solar panel cleaning mode will make the cleaning technology more intelligent, efficient and environmentally friendly.


"Thanks to DIA Committee for providing a platform for display and communication, which gives us the opportunity to face more audiences with our self-developed products and let various customer groups to know this product. I also wish DIA would get better and better, and more and more Chinese designs and China’s "Intelligent Manufacturing" can go international through the DIA.” The team of Suzhou ifbot Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. expressed their heartfelt thanks and blessings to DIA Committee.



Material Provider  | Suzhou ifbot Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd.

Editor  | Wu Zhiwen

Executive Editor  | Fan Fei

Reviewer  | Yang Duoying

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