Signals QBotix Robotic Tracking SystemTM as bankable solar project cost saver
Also garners awards highlighting QBotix as industry thought leader
March 19, 2014 — Menlo Park, CA — QBotix, which harnesses the power of robotic tracking to optimize solar plant operation, today announced the successful completion of its $1 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative award project and its independent engineering report conducted by DNV GL. In addition to recently being recognized by Fast Company as one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in robotics, QBotix received multiple awards for innovation.
QBotix received the $1 million research award under the DOE’s SunShot Incubator Program in 2012 to fund the development of the new generation of robots for the QBotix Robotic Tracking System™ (RTS). The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort to make solar competitive with other forms of electricity in the U.S. by the end of the decade.
The collaborative will accomplish this goal by reducing the cost for utility scale installations by 75 percent from 2011 levels to roughly $1 per watt—which would correspond to roughly 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. QBotix wrapped up the research at the end of 2013 with successful demonstration of the latest RTS generation of robot.
QBotix also successfully completed an independent engineering (IE) report, a key to proving bankability in the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) and developer segments of the solar value chain. The company proactively engaged DNV GL (formerly DNV KEMA, which had acquired BEW Engineering) to perform the report. DNV GL is respected as one of the top independent engineers in the solar industry. The report details many of the key design for reliability and testing aspects of the QBotix product offering and confirms the significant energy production benefits of the RTS.
“This data confirms the capability of the QBotix RTS to achieve more than 45% improvement over this typical fixed-tilt array. Simulations of energy performance conducted by DNV KEMA indicate the QBotix RTS is expected to capture roughly 15% higher irradiance than typical single axis trackers.”
Along with several bank-financed projects under construction and in contract, the IE report – also referred to as a bankability report – establishes QBotix as a bankable solar tracking solution.
In addition to these two major milestones, QBotix has been recently recognized by several leading media and research organizations and awarding bodies. Fast Company selected QBotix as one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in robotics, joining Google and iRobot. QBotix also received a New Product Innovation Leadership Award from a leading global growth consulting firm which provides market research and analysis. Lastly, QBotix has been selected as the 2014 IAIR AWARDS® Gold Winner for Sustainability.
QBotix continues to establish itself as a thought leader and recently launched its own blog exploring the integration of robotics into the solar industry and related topics. In validation of QBotix as a leader in the area of Balance-of-Systems and solar tracking, PV America recently selected QBotix to present on three separate topics at the PV America conference in Boston from June 23-25, 2014.
About QBotix: QBotix creates rugged, intelligent, mobile robots for their optimized tracker system that dramatically improve project economics in the commercial and utility-scale solar sectors. Using the new paradigm of solar robotics, the QBotix Robotic Tracking SystemTM (RTS) delivers project cost savings up to 20%, high system reliability and ease of installation.
About DOE SunShot Initiative: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at http://www.energy.gov/sunshot.