Autonomous Platform for Maintenance Operations in Solar Plants (solar farms)

by Niraikalai Vijay | at Minnebar 18 | 1:00 – 1:45 in Tackle | View Schedule

Title & Main Idea

Overhead ‘irrigation sprinkler’ like autonomous system for Solar Plants Maintenance Operations Rollable solar plants/solar farms maintenance system to maintain the solar panels on-demand based on control center - monitoring system and routine maintenance. Based on the readings about the solar panels' health, directing the rollable system to perform simple to complex tasks as much as possible and rest to get taken care by field maintenance personnel. 'Overhead sprinklers' getting replaced by the slim robotic arms with camera and tools to do simple repairs like fixing the wires/harness/fastening the bolts etc. Making this easy to dismantle and roll back to storage will help with efficient maintenance of the solar plants/farms.

We can think of additional applications based on this idea.

Having scaled down version for building solar panels Having either simple rollable robots with cameras and fixing systems for data centers or achieving same thing with different layouts like have overhead ceiling system which is more user friendly and will help with floor technicians/personnels moving around as comfortable possible. For retail shop planograms organization, prize tags' maintenance, reading for inventory replenishment and doing simple replenishment for human operated stores and more complex inventory replenishment and monitoring for stores like Amazon brick stores.

Finally, listing all the solar plants/farms autonomous needs

Recyling solar panels/batteries to allow for much better reach to more customers. how both renewables/non-renewables resources can be used in balanced ways to achieve the sustainability goals for environmental benefits.

Please refer to the following Power point presentation of the full paper. Please click this link and do 'slide show and press 'enter' to read thru the slides. ---- Latest (4/15/24) ---- previous version

The brief abstract ends here.

If you are not able to access the above links, please refer to the following from the slides.


Slide 1

AUTONOMOUS PLATFORM FOR MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS IN SOLAR PLANTS (SOLAR FARMS) Niraikalai vijay  (Software engineer, currently working at HYVee – retail – VARIOUS JOB ROLES)

Discussion for solution that I submitted(reviewed by Wazoku – A2A (not selected) ) for challenge – Wazoku Innocentive – A2A - Overhead ‘Irrigation Sprinkler’ like autonomous system for Solar Plants Maintenance – December 2023

Slide 2 ======  Challenge Statement

How to make the maintenance of solar farms easy & efficient Extension to this challenge statement, I like to add how to make the maintenance of roof top solar panels autonomous  Is it possible to have thin solar panels against the walls both exterior and interior .  EPA Launches $7 Billion Competition to Bring Low-Cost Solar Energy to More Hard-Working American Families | Clean Energy | The White House (June 2023 – September 2023) - saw only yesterday (7th April 2024) A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development (Book), Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) (

Slide 3

Overhead ‘Irrigation Sprinklers’ like autonomous system for solar plants(farms)

This solution suggests designing/using Autonomous Solar Plants maintenance similar to 'Overhead Irrigation Sprinklers' that are being used in industrial level agricultural farming irrigation needs.       This movable/rollable system with sprinklers replaced with machine vision cameras/brushes/robotic arm that can perform both extended and detailed operations.       If solar farms already built, don't have spacings, this system can be designed to cover end to end of the breadth of the farm that can be moved. But need to be sturdy enough as it is going to be so wide to have a balance. Similar, to industrial robotic arm that can bend/twist under the hood, over the hood, this robotic arm can be designed to be flexible to navigate under the panels to inspect the bolts/wires/harness and perform the repair or send back the required information to control center for the manual repair or sending rollable robot to locate the panel(s) and do the repairs.

Slide 4

Overhead ‘Irrigation Sprinklers’ like autonomous system for solar plants(farms) - continuation

Every sprinkler hanging needs to be slim robotic arm with camera for machine vision to inspect the solar panels to accuracy. Small brush can be part of the robotic arm that can be used to dust the panels clean. This robotic arm can also have robotic fastener to do simple repair work for the solar panels For solar panels’ wires/harness, these robotic arms can be used to do machine vision inspections and report it back to control room. If there are options for land rover robot that can fix the wires/connections, it can be used. Otherwise, wire/connections can be manually repaired on individual basis.

Slide 5

Other applications & Collaboration

Primary collaborator if anyone interested in trying this solution, I like to suggest Analog Devices, my former employer where I worked as Software Engineer. ---- Huge data center can be maintained using robots to fix the systems/wirings including automated systems that can roll between data center stacks of severs . Please refer to the above link. This session can help with discussions related to current technology needs like upcoming new Meta (Facebook) - Datacenter at Rosemont, Minnesota, US. and this paper discussion can identify various other application areas either by direct application or customized application based on my solution for the topic of this paper.

Slide 6

Other Discussion Points....

Extension to this challenge statement, 

      Making maintenance of roof top solar panels autonomous using drone or auto extendable pole with cleaning brush and tool to check the connections and to do repairs    Related Agrophotovoltaic - Wazoku – A2A submissions (not selected)  Mimic Trees/Plants/Crops for Solar PV Structures for bountiful harvesting from Agricultural Land (August 2022) Ingredients based Optimal Crop Identification with PV structures integrated into agricultural land (August 2022)

Slide 7

Conclusion (yet to re-write - as repair/recovery of my final presentation from one-drive location didn't show few of the modifications/additions I did

All levels

Niraikalai Vijay

Niraikalai Vijay (Software Engineer - Currently working in HyVee - Retail - various roles)

Highly qualified software engineering professional both by work experience (with concentration on data structures & algorithms/automation) & education (with concentration on both hardware/operating systems/microprocessors/computer networking/data structures & algorithms/circuit theory/pulse techniques/engineering design/robotics/image processing etc, along with beginner level Retail work experience)

Organizations I worked/I am currently working

HyVee (Retail) - Current, Veritas Technologies (Xoriant Software Engineer Contractor), AutoZone (Retail), Analog Devices (Software Engineer), Bell Atlantic (Current Verizon) - Software Engineer consultant, IBM (Atlas Software Technologies - Software Engineer sub-contractor), Tata Consultancy Services (Software Engineer), Government College of Technology (Teaching Assistant), Kumaraguru College Of Technology (Associate Lecturer)


Wazoku Crowd – Nexus - Detecting Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in Building Structures Submitted – 11/7/23 & Moved Evaluation stage 2 11/10/23 - Got selected 3/28/24 - Currently Wazoku - Nexus looking for interested Seekers and/or industry partners for my solution titled 'SEM (Semicoductor) and/or Tuning Fork - MEMS Vibration (Physics Sound) based Sensor Solution'

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS ANALOG DEVICES, 2011 General Technical Conference – Presented Demo on following topic. (March 2011)
Data Analysis Applications/Content Management System/Web Application Framework ANALOG DEVICES, 2010 General Technical Conference – Presented Demo on following topic. (April 2010) DATABASE: For Development of Data Analysis Application ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS Abstracts submission for 2012 ADI General Technical Conference • Data Analysis Application – For Semiconductor Engineers • Cloud Computing/Centralized management of heterogeneous databases • Innovation Ideas

================================== EDUCATION

Masters in Computer Science & Engineering, Government College of Technology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India (1991 - 1992) - Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science & Engineering, Government College of Technology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India (1986 – 1990)


List of contests/challenges for which I have submitted abstract/reviewed/being reviewed/won and organizer looking for seekers/industry partners.

Similar Sessions

Does this session sound interesting? You may also like these:

Are you interested in this session?

This will add your name to the list of interested participants. It will help us gauge interest for scheduling purposes.

Interested Participants