Robotics firm aims to help farmers get the most out of solar power

5th September 2014

George F. White have announced it is working with a US robotics firm to ensure farming clients get the most out of solar panels.

The US technology uses robotics to control solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to ensure they generate the maximum possible energy from sun rise to sun set, has arrived in the UK.

Aimed at farmers and landowners who have 1 to 1.5 acres of land to site the solar panels, Castillium has brought the innovative Qbotix system to Britain for the first time after it has proved itself in other markets.

As it was launched in the UK this week, Alistair Fell, a director of Castillium said: “The QBotix system is more efficient than traditional static solar PV systems, offering customers better value for money than other solar PV equipment on the market.

“Typically, the RTS system increases energy generation by 30-45% in the UK; improving return on investment by around 20% compared to static panels.”

The system is aimed at farmers and landowners interested in generating on-site electricity. It needs just 1.5 acres of land for the 20-plus year lifetime of the technology.

At a maximum height of three metres, the system has a lower visual impact than a wind turbine and has fewer planning issues associated with factors such as noise, shadow flicker and radar, meaning it is easier to secure planning permission and less likely to cause problems with neighbours.

Renewable energy is now an extension of the farmyard and an important potential source of income for farmers, while it can also meet a farm’s entire electricity requirements.

Louis Fell of George F. White said: “It’s the first tracking system in the UK that is competitive against the fixed panel systems and therefore looks like the best solar investment coming onto the market. We have the first system in planning at present and the hope to have instalment early autumn.

“We’re really excited by the proposition and hope to have some live results feeding through later this year. We think it’s a perfect fit for those with a 3 phase grid connection and to become energy dependant without significant impact on the landscape. I think there will be significant interest and looking forward to working with Castillium.”

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