John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics & Science InvenTeam

Roxbury, MA
Autonomous Solar Panel Cleaning Device

The John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science InvenTeam invented an autonomous solar panel cleaning device, SolPristine, to maximize the amount of electricity generated by both residential and commercial solar panels in the northeastern United States. Snow, dust, pollen, and other residues that accumulate on the urface of the solar panel reduce the electricity generated by up to 25%. Solar panel farms and other solar panel users can use this device to remove accumulated particles. The device uses sensors to monitor temperature, moisture, and light levels; a timing circuit is used to turn on the sensors at regular intervals in order to take readings. Feedback from the sensors is used, along with output voltage data from the solar panel, to determine when to activate the r arm of the device. When activated, the wiper arm moves back and forth across the solar panel to remove the unwanted particles. The device also includes a charging circuit that uses a small fraction of the electricity generated from the panel to charge a 12V battery. The battery powers the two motors that move the wiper arm. The alpha prototype device costs approximately $500.

Watch their 2015 EurekaFest Video

Blog

December 15, 2014

The John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science InvenTeam has been working on finalizing the design for a solar panel cleaner, was interviewed by Fox News, talked with a solar panel expert from the Massachusetts  Audubon Society, and debated possible microcontrollers to use in the device. Here is the breakdown from our programmers and young engineers.

October 10, 2014

The John D. O’Bryant School’s Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam is excited to have received an InvenTeam grant from the Lemelson-MIT program. We are looking forward to getting our project started and anticipate an exciting year!

We’ve met several times already to discuss the project, establish a schedule, and assign members to roles and teams. We plan to initially meet two days a week, on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, and will ratchet up our meeting time as we start to build and test our project.