The radio-controlled mowing machine made by an Italy-based heavy equipment manufacturer Photo: Gigasolar
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Radio-controlled mowing machine to be tested at agricultural solar plant

3 Comments
By Shinichi Kato

Chiba Ecological Energy Inc will conduct a field test using a large-size radio-controlled mowing machine at an agricultural solar power plant.

In the test, Chiba Ecological Energy, which provides consulting services related to agricultural solar power generation (solar sharing), will use the radio-controlled mowing machine to reap green manure wheat.

Green manure wheat is wheat used for green manure (plant to be mixed with soil as fertilizer). It is planted together with other plants to be harvested. When green manure wheat grows to a certain extent, it is reaped.

The test will be conducted at an agricultural solar power plant located in Midori Ward in Chiba city. Crops such as sweet potato and taro (Colocasia esculenta) started to be grown at the plant in April.

Chiba Ecological Energy will conduct the field test in cooperation with Gigasolar Co Ltd, which deals with radio-controlled mowing machines. Gigasolar provides mowing services for solar power plants by using a radio-controlled mowing machine made by an Italy-based heavy equipment manufacturer as part of its O&M (operation and maintenance) services.

According to Chiba Ecological Energy, the advantage of using the radio-controlled mowing machine at an agricultural solar power plant is that, unlike normal agricultural machines, it does not need to be ridden by a human and it can be controlled with a controller from behind. As a result, the mowing machine can be finely controlled and, therefore, is suited for agricultural solar power plants, where there are equally-spaced supporting posts.

Chiba Ecological Energy plans to (1) introduce electric equipment for agricultural work, (2) automate it by using radio-controlled agricultural machines including mowing machines and (3) establish next-generation agriculture and farming methods at agricultural solar power plants, the company said.

© Nikkei Technology Online

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3 Comments
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According to Chiba Ecological Energy, the advantage of using the radio-controlled mowing machine at an agricultural solar power plant is that, unlike normal agricultural machines, it does not need to be ridden by a human and it can be controlled with a controller from behind.

For a real advantage I'd expect it to be autonomous (like setting a coordinates grid and having the mower work inside it). I don't think having the driver behind is better than having it on top (unless it's used in dangerous environments, like mine clearance).

Or maybe there are more advantages, like reducing costs or working time, but since it's not stated in the article it is hard to tell.

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From the maker website:

It has been designed exclusively to mow grass under solar panels. It is possible to operate it and work with it flexibly using radio control in order to make it easier to mow in narrow and low places. It does not damage the posts of the mounts.

So that's what the advantage is.

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There are tons of remote mower solutions that can mow under solar panels.

Remote Control Slope Mower - TRX-48-PRO & TRX-52-PRO

Spider Mini RC Mower

Husqvarna Automower Series

Also grass meant to be mulched isn't manure. Manure is animal waste.

It would never get high enough to need anything the size of a bulldozer if the mower was programmed to cut on a rotation.

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