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German firm to present solar installation robot at US exhibition

PV-Kraftwerker’s robot ‘Momo’ to make US debut at Intersolar North America

The robot could replace manual labour installing solar modules
The robot could replace manual labour installing solar modules

A German robot designed to build solar parks will be presented in the US for the first time at an exhibition in San Francisco. PV-Kraftwerker’s robot ‘Momo’ had its premiere at the Intersolar Europe Munich exhibition in the Spring and will now head to Intersolar North America. 

Momo is designed to replace tedious manual work building open area solar parks. PV-Kraftwerker says Momo is particularly suitable for large area assemblies where installers face difficult terrain and have to cover large distances. The robot moves to the designated site, supplied with all the necessary photovoltaic modules, assembles the photovoltaic unit and moves on to the next. The PV-Kraftwerker managing director, Eberhard Schulz, said that this should equate to 80 per cent improvement in efficiency. Momo could also carry out maintenance and cleaning work, as well as system removal.

Schulz said: “With Momo, hardly any modules suffer breakages; programming eliminates assembly errors and fitters no longer suffer from assembly related injuries. Momo can cope with tricky terrain and gradients with great accuracy.”

PV-Kraftwerker describes Momo’s gripper system, equipped with sensors, enabling the automated assembly of modules. A three-dimensional camera, mounted on the gripper or a support tool, captures the complete assembly process of the modules and adjusts any deviation from the defined standard with millimeter accuracy. Gripper and camera are coordinated in order to capture the position on the substructures, which PV-Kraftweker claims allows the modules to be accurately assembled. Depending on the size of a photovoltaic power generator, this process may be repeated 100,000 times. 

PV-Kraftwerker says that when removing a photovoltaic power generator, Momo’s assembly system operates in reverse order. This should allow modules to be reused, as they will be protected from damage. In addition, PV-Kraftwerker claims its technology enables assembly around the clock, regardless of weather conditions.

The Intersolar North America exhibition in San Francisco will run from 10 July to 12 July 2012.