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Holiday wish #3

Doug Houseman's picture
Visionary and innovator in the utility industry and grid modernization, Burns & McDonnell

I have a broad background in utilities and energy. I worked for Capgemini in the Energy Practice for more than 15 years. During that time I rose to the position of CTO of the 12,000 person...

  • Member since 2017
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  • Dec 9, 2021

Labor makes up more than 50% of current rooftop installations in the US.

My holiday wish for the rooftop industry is a robot that eliminates the need to climb on the roof, at all.

It will probably not be a single machine, but a combination.

Drones that can ultrasound the roof to find structural members and any issues in the integrity of the structure and roofing materials before an installation plan is made. Probably more akin to flies, than birds, walking along the roof, but able to fly to get there.

A robot arm to place pre-assembled panels (supports and all) in the right location on the roof, and bolt them into place. A connector design from panel to panel and string to ground that is easy for the robot to find and connect.

A robot to secure the wiring from the panels to the inverter(s), and from the inverter to the disconnect or storage system.

Structured wiring that means only a single connector needs to be wired to make the system ready to run.

The one issue with this wish, is that rooftop is the single most labor intensive task in renewables. Robotize it and the clean energy jobs will not appear, unless we bring manufacturing back on shore.


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