Saudi Arabia is a desert country with no freshwater resources. Every day the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) produces more than three million cubic meters a day of potable water, which requires a great deal of precious energy, so every drop must be conserved. Cue NOMADD.
Very similar to the robots deployed in Israel to clean solar panels efficiently without water and without manual labor (can you imagine having the job of cleaning these boiling hot panels in the middle of the desert?), the NO-water Mechanical Automated Device (NOMADD) is completely self-sufficient.
One robot is attached to a row of solar panels and proceeds to brush over it once a day. This helps to rid the panels of dust, a regular feature in Saudi thatreduces energy efficiency by up to 60 percent after a dust storm, according to Treehugger.
Equipped with a brush that causes no scratches on the surface of the solar panels, the robots are great for water conservation, and they make sense from a labor perspective as well.
“No manpower is required for the operation of the NOMADD, beyond a single operator in a remote location who can oversee the site from a distance and observe the operational characteristics of each NOMADD device in real-time through remote sensor viewing and network communications,” according to the company literature.
And like a dream come true, the robots are actually fairly rudimentary, which means they’re not complicated to build and can be easily replaced in the event that one breaks down.
“The NOMADD is constructed from simply manufactured aluminium components, requiring a minimum of machining and using sections that are standard sizes,” the company continues. “Fittings are stainless steel, and the rollers are similar to those found on heavy duty lifting equipment. This makes the NOMADD superstructure and translation structure extremely rugged and durable, with no exposed perishable parts.”
Given the Kingdom’s $109 billion plan to power a third of Saudi Arabia with solar energy by 2032, these NOMADD robots should go a long way to reduce both energy and water consumption, while boosting the performance of solar panels.