Radio-controlled mowing machine to be tested at agricultural solar plant

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.

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