The cleaning device is designed to remove the dust accumulated on the PV panels surface by executing a dry-cleaning process. The device moves from one end to another of the PV string, being driven by a DC motor. Another motor is used to rotate the brush responsible for the cleaning process. A pair of four limit switches mounted on the bottom side of the cleaning device detects when each end of the panels string is reached. A local operator can interact with the device using several buttons and indicator lamps mounted on the top panel. The device is powered by two batteries charged by a solar panel mounted on the top of the case which is connected to a dedicated solar charger and so, an external power supply is not necessary.
Even though the cleaning device is autonomous and the cleaning process is executed automatically based on a preconfigured schedule, the human operator can manually interact with the process using the local buttons or the dedicated user interface. The web-based interface can be accessed locally, using the WiFi network broadcasted by the device or from distance, using a secured VPN connection to the 3G router installed inside the device. Through the interface, the user can directly control the cleaning process (in manual and service mode), view the values measured by the different sensors of the device and modify all the system settings and parameters.
The cleaning device is equipped with several sensors:
-temperature sensors (ambient, PV panels, motor drivers, battery and electronics compartment temperature),
The values measured by the sensors are used to determine when the cleaning process can start and to trigger several configurable warnings and alarms. Using the web-interface, the operator can analyze the instantaneous values measured by the sensors and download the historical logs stored in the local memory.