Companies and individuals everywhere are opting to use drones to assist with everyday activities. Commercial drones are quickly making their way into industries across the globe, and the solar industry is no exception. The solar business is expected to grow by 20% this year alone, making it one of the fastest growing energy sources to date. With a rapid-growing sector, companies are looking for new and innovative ways to reduce costs, increase safety among their employees, and improve efficiency within their organization.

How do UAS systems aid personnel in the solar industry?

Performing Solar Maintenance Inspections

Routine solar inspections can take upward of a couple days, especially if you have a large solar plant. UAS systems reduce the cost, risk, and error that comes with hiring or assigning someone to do the job.

Drones, like the Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced can take flight and uploads infrared photos to a special software that evaluates each photo, making it easy to view several panels in one sitting. The Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced is equipped with a radiometric FLIR thermal sensor that is proven to enhance perception and awareness. Using FLIR inferred technology, you will be able to spot any anomalies and fix them as soon as possible. This reduces time spent evaluating each individual panel, and the cost to hire someone out to do the work. UAS systems also reduce the number of on-site injuries from those who are inspecting the solar systems. If there is no one on the field, there is no chance of injury.

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Development Planning

Looking to add a solar field? Whether that be on land or on top of a structure, this project takes a lot of preparation and patience. Drones are a good way to speed up the process. Instead of opting for a manual survey of the area, try a UAS system to measure for you. Drones are quicker than your average manpowered survey and are extremely accurate. Using orthomosaics, digital models, scale factors, and other digital tools, drones can scale the perspective area so you can plan out where to place the solar units. This is also a much safer way to approach surveying, considering a designated surveyor may have to measure at extreme heights.

Progress Reporting

Drones are the perfect tool to evaluate project progression. When it comes to solar power, there is quite a bit of construction. Drone software can deliver real time percentages on current construction progress. With this information, you can inform stakeholders of the progress and give an estimate of when the project will be completed. With consistent check ins, you may be able to catch mistakes that could potentially become bigger problems in the future. It also reduces risk of potential injury because you can catch issues before they escalate.

Line Inspections

Inspecting solar utility lines is another primary use of drones in the solar industry. Solar lines transport energy created by solar power. Much like the panels themselves, drones help with inspecting solar lines reducing cost, on-site injury, and increasing efficiency.

Inspecting solar lines require workers to come in close contact with high voltage lines and extreme heights, increasing the risk of severe injury. Drones help reduce this risk completely, as only one grounded person is needed to complete this inspection. The Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced operates with zoom camera that allow photos to be taken at 32x digital zoom. Certain UAS systems, such as this one, will take high quality zoom photographs which allow you to evaluate each aspect of lines and determine if something needs to be fixed.

Solar energy is becoming increasingly more relevant today as we value alternatives to non-renewable energy. Contact us today to learn more about how our UAS systems can help in the solar industry.

Click here to read about Drones and the Future of Farming.