Wind and weather – A decisive factor for a solar-powered field robot?
Many people wonder if the FarmDroid can drive in bad weather. The answer to that question is simply yes! Our solar-powered field robot is not limited to only drive when it is sunny, it can also drive when the weather is cloudy, windy, foggy, or even rainy.
Weather is a critical aspect assisting farmers in reaping healthy yields
We all know that the weather is unpredictable. One minute it is sunny and the next it starts to pour; this is a commonly known scenario. The weather is one of the most determining factors for farming success, but we cannot count on the sun to shine 24 hours a day or the rain to start pouring after a drought period. Forecasting the weather has become even more challenging nowadays and because of global climate change weather patterns are continuously altering. So, why develop a farming robot that drives purely on solar power? Keep reading – we’ll get to that later.
For farmers, the weather is a crucial factor that can potentially determine the result of a season. At the beginning of the season each crop requires specific temperatures for planting, while during harvest unexpected rainfalls can spoil the crops. More than any other, farmers know that the weather is dynamic. Therefore, it is only natural to question the real-life efficiency of a solar-powered field robot.
In cloudy weather and at fluctuating temperatures solar panels still generate energy
It is possible that the best time for the farmer to sow his crops is during the night or on a cloudy day where the soil is perfect. Now you may think that for a robot running on solar power that is an issue, but no. It is not.
Contrary to what many people think, solar panels still generate energy on cloudy days, just like you can also get sunburned when there are clouds on the sky. However, the amount of energy that the solar panels produce in cloudy or rainy weather is just not as extensive compared to what they can produce on bright, sunny days.
Another common belief is that the warmer the weather, the more energy the solar panels produce, but that is not entirely true. The solar panel’s production of energy is not based on the temperature of the air surrounding them, but the amount of light that hits the panels. For this reason, the best condition for the solar panels is in fact mild temperatures.
The weather is not a determining factor for our solar-powered robot
FarmDroid is not affected by the changing and unstable weather even though it runs on solar power. The robot is powered by four batteries that are charged by four solar panels. The solar panels are placed on top of the robot, and they can deliver up to 1,6 kWh equivalent to 20 kWh a day, providing the FarmDroid with enough power to avoid that you have to charge the batteries externally.
The robot stores the energy that the solar panels produce, so if it gets cloudy or rainy, or you want it to run during the night, it can draw on the energy that the solar panels produced when it was bright. On a cloudy day the robot can run up to 18 hours!
Another benefit of powering the robot with solar energy is that it is 100% green and carbon neutral energy. For this reason, we’re not only making seeding and weeding easier, but we’re also enhancing sustainable farming and reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture.