One of the greatest challenges when looking at solar panels is trying to keep them efficient and clean. REIWA Engine, a startup from Sicily, Italy, has designed a new robot, the SandStorm to do just that.
REIWA Engine SandStorm robot is fully automated, it’s more efficient compared to its competitors and has already caught the attention of several big players in the industry, including Enel Green Power.
REIWA Engine has a patent technology on the SandStorm, and it can reduce by up to 30% the costs of maintenance and cleaning of photovoltaic systems. The target market for REIWA Engine is large photovoltaic parks that due to soiling (the layer of dust or sand that reduces the absorption of sunlight by the panels) lose about 25% of production, a considerable loss, in a sector where efficiency is one of the key elements to make sure solar can be considered a solid alternative to nonrenewable energy sources.
The SandStorm is also much lighter and easier to assemble, compared to its competitors, and that makes it easier to move from one photovoltaic park to another. Its washing system is entirely managed by Artificial Intelligence: the AI saves water, controls the energy needed to move the SandStorm, and it allows it to move in a completely autonomous way, overcoming all the differences in height between the rows of panels that current robots cannot overcome.
For several years, the major players in the renewable energy sector have been investing to search for a more efficient way to clean and keep their photovoltaic parks, REIWA Engine SandStorm seems to be the perfect tool for this.
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Developed by a young but well-experienced team, led by Salvatore Occhipinti, REIWA Engine was recently selected among several Italian startups to be presenting at CES 2021. The interest received at CES confirmed that REIWA Engine’s aspiration to make internationally recognized innovation while maintaining the headquarter in Sicily was indeed successful.
Enel Green Power, the world’s largest private player in the sector, has already shown interest in the REIWA Engine project and is testing the performance of the SandStorm. Will this be one of the first examples of a new wave of cleantech startups from Sicily? We do hope so.
In the cover picture: The SandStorm. Photo Credit: REIWA Engine.