Solar power industry 'could be boosted by Mars robot'

24 Aug 2010
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Solar power industry 'could be boosted by Mars robot'

Experiments have found that technology used on the robots that scour the surface of Mars can be transferred to solar panels, potentially boosting the renewable energy industry.

The machines "zap" the solar panels they are powered by in order to keep them clean from dust and grime that may affect productivity.

It is now thought that solar energy producers may be able to utilise this self-cleaning technology for their own products, making solar power a more effective form of renewable energy.

Dr Malay Mazumder stated that solar power plants could see their lives extended by the development, as many of them are located in dusty places.

"A dust layer of 4g per square metre decreases solar power conversion by 40 per cent," commented the Boston University expert.

Senior policy officer at the Campaign to Protect Rural England Dustin Benton recently told the Guardian that proposals by German physicist Gerhard Knies to utilise solar power from the Sahara desert to meet European energy needs could work. 

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