Eccopia Scientific Ltd., an Israel-based startup developing robots that clean solar panels, has raised $13 million, the company announced Tuesday. The round was led by Israel-based Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd., with participation from existing investors Swarth Group, GlenRock Israel Ltd., and Gandyr Group.
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The technology developed by Eccopia helps operators of solar installations prevent the accumulation of dust on the photovoltaic panels, which can reduce their output.
A study published in June in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters attempted to quantify the impact of and pollution and dust on the performance of solar energy production.
Researchers from Duke University collected data from solar panels in India and found that efficiency increased by 50% when the panels were cleaned after several weeks of dust accumulation.
Founded in 2013, Eccoppia offers its dust-removal robots to utility-scale solar farms, using data collected in the process in order to optimize performance. It lists as clients power utilities including France’s Engie S.A., NTPC Ltd. of India, and U.S.-based renewable energy company SunEdison Inc.
“The financial stability this investment grants us will enable the company to continue serving the largest energy players in the world, meeting the requirement of the top financial institutions involved in cleantech, and the growing demand in our pipeline,” Eccopia co-founder and CEO Eran Meller said in a statement.