Initial Analysis and Development of an Automated Maintenance System for Agrivoltaics Plants
Agrivoltaics power generation is the simultaneous use of agricultural land and photovoltaic panels. In such cases, the panels are placed more sparsely, compared to conventional photovoltaic plants. Furthermore, the panels might be mounted at higher heights, to provide the required space for the farm. Due to this arrangement of the panels in wide areas with crops on the farm, maintenance of the panels is a hard task. The major part of maintenance is to clean the panels, since the accumulation of farm dust and bird excrement can reduce the efficiency of the panels. In Agrivoltaics plants, the panels can be scattered, thus it is not economical for each panel to have a dedicated cleaning robot. This paper presents the initial design and analysis of an automated system for cleaning such power plants. This system consists of a robotic AGV, which transfers a panel cleaner between the photovoltaic panels mounted over the farms. The initial design is presented. Then, to anticipate the required power and control system, the carrier kinetics and kinematics are modeled and validated through simulations. Then, position and trajectory controllers are designed and simulations are presented. The simulations show desired performance for the introduced controlled system.