Drones : The Next Tech For Solar Developers

In Clean Facts, Innovations, News, Products, Renewable Energy, Technology

The drones are now helping solar developers meet tight deadlines with economical solutions. Short time-frame for constructing solar plants under the National Solar Mission pushed some of the developers to reach out to commercial drone operators in the first–half of 2017 to undertake site mapping.

The process becomes ten times faster than traditional surveying undertaken manually. The market for drones gradually expanded to include them for construction oversight, and operations and maintenance of both solar and wind plants.

For instance, a drone equipped with a camera on a pre-set flight path over a solar plant can indicate to the ground crew which modules have accumulated dust on the surface, thereby enabling focused cleaning operations to prevent a drop in output.

Shadow analysis of rooftops, a mature offering in the drone segment, helps minimise the effect of shading on the panels.

A drone, equipped with a thermo-imaging camera, helps in pre-emptive maintenance by identifying hot spots that affect panel output.

The process is more cost-effective and favours economy of scale. “With very large plants, the cost of inspection by drones can be as low as half of what is incurred if done manually. A drone can cover more than 2 square kilometers in a day, as opposed to five days if we do a manual survey.”

Research reports estimate that the drone-driven market globally will soon be more than $10 billion.

In India, various experts estimate that market opportunities could soon exceed hundreds of billions of rupees. The Indian market has evolved. It is developing additional native solutions for enabling drone to conduct hydrology study to prevent structural damage created by unexpected seasonal rivulets and drainage systems created by the onset of monsoons.

 

 

 

Reference- Down To Earth, DGCA website,The Guardian

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