5 Cases of Robotics in the Renewable Energy Industry
President Biden developed the Build Back Better plan and allocated $2 trillion to the clean energy sector to increase technological development and employment. As a result, environmental scientists and engineers are combining robotics and renewable energy devices, increasing their efficiency and accessibility.
Robotics can decrease system installation and maintenance costs, increasing the general affordability of clean energy. They may additionally raise a system's efficiency levels and maintain adequate power supplies. Improving the cost-effectiveness and electricity output of renewable energy systems will help America reach its carbon-neutral goal.
1. Drones and Wind Turbines
Today, we view drones flying over vacation destinations, gathering unique footage. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, even established a plan to integrate drones into package delivery services. The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) may also aid in wind farm maintenance, increasing efficiency and protection.
One turbine functionality interference is ice. Freezing can reduce a renewable energy device's efficiency by 80% during cold months. Fortunately, researchers found a sustainable solution using UAVs.
A drone developed by Latvian Aerones uses its 36 propellers to carry and project a de-icing agent. It reaches extreme heights, maintaining turbine efficiency in freezing temperatures. The robot increases workers' safety by allowing professionals to control the device from the ground level.
2. Robots and Solar Farms
Rising eco-consumer demands have increased residential and commercial solar system purchases. With more requested installations and investments, renewable energy companies must adopt external aid to meet peoples’ needs. Robots can promote the industry's expansion while improving efficiency and organization.
Photovoltaic solar panel systems are a costly investment and require optimal security. Solar farms sometimes experience theft and animal interference, causing extensive damage. Environmental scientists and engineers developed a security robot that protects power plants from energy production disruption.
SMProbotics generated an autonomous security device that detects motion on solar farms. It distributes real-time footage to professionals off-site through Wi-Fi. The system can also differentiate an authorized worker from an intruder on the farm.
3. Solar Farm Layout Drones
Another use for robotics on solar farms is layout drones. Over time, weather elements and advancements cause technology to change. Maintaining system functionality through alterations is challenging.
Raptor Maps uses drones to scan solar farms for structural deficiencies. The drones relay data back to a computer system, which analyzes images and identifies issues. Professionals can then decipher whether the system needs panel replacement or restructuring.
4. Offshore Wind and Sub-Sea Robots
Offshore wind turbines rely on structural stability within the seabed. Significant degradation may occur if the foundation is damaged. Fortunately, professionals developed a sub-sea robot for turbine platforms.
Underwater monitoring is essential as offshore wind turbine development expands. The device can inspect and repair foundational damage. Unlike human workers, robots can remain underwater indefinitely, keeping track of structural alterations over time.
Climate change also increases the industry's need for underwater robots. Rising sea levels and increased tropical storm frequencies pose risks for turbine efficiency. Robots can conduct underwater maintenance after storms and preventive measures beforehand.
5. Hydropower and Dam Safety Robots
The U.S. sources 7.3% of its energy from hydropower, accessing 291 billion kilowatt-hours per year. Biden hopes to increase our clean energy sourcing and reduce our reliance on fossil fuel-driven electricity. We can meet this goal by expanding the hydropower industry.
Underwater robotics gather sophisticated imaging data to help professionals increase efficiency and repair damage. Many dam regions contain murky or debris-filled water, limiting visibility. Robots can function in zero-visibility areas and inspect various structural issues.
The robots can identify foundation cracks and debris obstructions. They also improve workers' safety by removing them from dangerous waterways. Professionals can access real-time imagery and conduct maintenance on land, preventing physical harm.
The Autonomous Future
Robotics are working their way into various facets of life, controlling our homes' temperatures and identifying hazards on the roads. Adding autonomous technology to the renewable energy industry can significantly improve efficiency and expand our clean power access. As the sector grows, we can develop a zero-emission energy grid with the aim of reaching national carbon neutrality.
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