This commercial photography project for Sunpower Corporation sought to accomplish a few objectives for its work with an industrial food processing plant in California. Empire Shelling in California's Central Valley is one of the largest nut processors in the country, producing over one quarter of almonds alone. The late summer harvest is their busiest time of year and when their energy needs get, well, a bit nuts. To help ease the energy cost burden, Sunpower created a solar array larger than a football field that would harness the sun's rays to power the hungry equipment in the plant.
One downside to being in a sun-soaked, dry environment is dust. And there is no shortage of it in the agriculture rich area of the Central Valley. To keep the photo voltaic cells operating at peak performance, Sunpower developed a robot of sorts that easily washes away the dirt and grime. Being able to efficiently clean the panels with no downtime makes sure Empire Shelling keeps crackin'. :)