Skip to main content

As news  breaks regarding Ecuador's plans to continue desecrating the Amazon Rainforest with drilling in the treasured Yasuni Park,  a crew of California Sunbots is working under the radar capturing sunlight at a rate which promises to slash the costs of solar power enough to make it competitive with 'the big guys.'

The robots, currently working on a project alongside Santa Rita jail are shifting solar panels to maximize the potential of capturing the sun's energy; sunbots are also engineered to construct, operate and maintain solar power facilities.

A significant development, considering solar power use more than doubled between 2010 and 2011, supplying 100 gigawatts of the world's capacity. Robotics offer the promise of increasing efficiency: one robot can supervise 1200 solar panels tracking a mere 1 degree shifts in the sun's position.

Robots add 20% efficiency to roof mounted solar panels, according to Matthew Muniz, Alamdeda County energy programme manager.

Developments in solar power certainly won't have any impact in preventing Ecuador from abandoning its conservation plans and begin drilling in the richly biodiverse and still pristine Yasuni National Park, but solar start ups like Richmond, California's Alion Energy are already developing a pilot solar plant propelled by robots in Saudi Arabia.

"The clever part comes in realizing that the sun moves slowly across the sky, taking 40 minutes to move 10 degrees,"  says Wasiq Bokhari, founder and CEO of QBotix. "For a flat photovoltaic plate, you can adjust it once every 45 minutes and keep maximum efficiency,"

Alion Energy plans to begin construction on its first commercial solar plant by the end of this year and is thinking ahead to the implications of building plants in the Middle East and China, where future sites for solar farms are in desert regions. Using robots to clean dust from the machinery could significantly increase energy yields while saving costs.

Some type of standardization of construction akin to that employed in the mass production of the automobile would be necessary to reap significant benefits to the world market.

Indigenous tribes in Yasuni Park, Ecuador.
Meanwhile, in Ecuador, polls suggest 78% of Ecuadorians oppose drilling in the forest where the indigenous Tagaeri and the Taromenane populations reside, the UN Develop Program says more than 400 million tons of CO2 will be released by the project.

Ecuador was unsuccessful in its bid to acquire sufficient funding from a 13-year UN sponsored effort to raise close to $4 billion towards the value of the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oil field.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site