Powershed: Solar Charging Of Robotic Mowers Is Spreading


PowershedIn the April issue, Turf reported on Powershed, a  patent-pending solar charging solution for robotic mowers. It was co-invented by former University of Tennessee turf manager Matthew Layne and Knoxville, TN-based Solar Alliance. (For the full article, click here.)

In more recent news, Powershed was recently selected by Automated Outdoor Solutions as the power source for ECHO robotic mowers at an undisclosed location for a Fortune 500 corporate campus. Joe Langton, president and CEO of Automated Outdoor Solutions, says, “We included Powershed in this project for multiple reasons.  The biggest reason is the flexibility it gives us to site mowers anywhere the sun shines without any issues running power to the site. We are completely untethered. This simplifies a project by avoiding all that goes into construction cost and permitting for a hard-wired charging system. Also, based on the employment environment these days, it is much easier to buy a robot than to hire another person.  The robotic mower and Powershed together have a role in reducing the client’s carbon footprint.”

“ECHO Robotics is very excited by the three-party partnership with Automated Outdoor Solutions and Solar Alliance,”comments ECHO vice president of Robotics Benjamin Houssa. “We believe that the off-grid solution of Solar Alliance with our mowers, together with the excellent service program offered by AOS, is a game changer. Jointly, we understand the needs for corporate campuses, schools, and municipalities to maintain their fields in an eco-friendly and price-sensitive manner. Thanks to the partnership, we can expand this off-grid mowing service solution nationwide.”

Harvey Abouelata, vice president of Solar Alliance said, “We are excited about this install! As we are all aware, solar and batteries perform differently depending on the geography and weather conditions. We have tested Powershed for more than a year at the University of Tennessee, both on incredibly steep hills using Husqvarna and on large open areas using ECHO Robotics. With this install, we now have Powersheds in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, and Tennessee, providing a well-rounded wealth of data and performance history. Although Powershed was designed to give robotic mowers more autonomy, we are excited to see other applications such as exterior lighting, well pumps on farms, and wherever you may need remote power. Depending on geography, and if you can claim a tax credit, we are producing power from $0.12 kWh to $0.16 kWh and we strive to keep driving that cost down.”