The solar industry is growing exponentially and use of drones on solar parks can significantly improve the operating efficiency, as drone provides accurate imagery in less time and with greater accuracy than inspectors with handheld infrared cameras. Flying a drone instead of walking among the solar panels is much faster and easier to identify failed cell or diode because it shows as white when it’s not generating electricity. As a result, many operations and maintenance providers turned to drones to reduce maintenance costs and increase power generation. Thermal and high-resolution imagery helps identify the complete picture of the site and what needs to be done to repair the system.
The global solar powered drones market was valued at USD 625.8 million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 1,576.0 million by 2024, at a CAGR of 13.1% over the forecast period. The growth is primarily attributed to the increasing awareness regarding the use of solar energy along with the various initiatives towards the promotion of renewable energy. Also, the increasing application of solar powered drones for various surveillance activities across the globe has fueled the market demand over the years to come.
Keeping solar panels clean is a key part of operation doing via drone, for the simple reason that dust blocks a portion of sunlight and results in less energy being generated. Although the concept is new, it is estimated that drones could clean a solar array 10 times faster than if manual methods are used, and for a much lower cost. These drones get their energy directly from the solar array, so there is no need for refueling. Drone solutions ensure that the maintenance and security challenges posed by them are addressed efficiently and effectively within a short span of time.
Solar energy is a difficult energy resource to capture and convert it’s availability. Renewable energy firms strive to maximize returns by making better plans to distribute solar panels in farms and rooftops, by automating inspection, however in trying to do this they regularly struggle with limited manpower, equipment and information.
Dronitech is a national leader in providing drone services & training across India. Dronitech’s custom drones capture detailed imagery/data in order to identify, classify and localize each anomaly, and understand the impact of its performance on the system. The cost of inspection is minimal in comparison to the cost of a roof replacement.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) of Dronitech have a lot of benefits for solar inspections such as:
- Rapid and easy scans of rooftops
- Saving time with aerial inspections
- Infrared signatures show defective panels
- Authorized and qualified inspection personnel
- Access to areas that pose health and safety risk to humans
- Fast response time hence, reduced downtime
As drones use continues to increase in the solar industry, solar energy will become a primary source of all electricity across the world.