Drone solar panel inspection is essential whether you own and operate a solar farm or have solar panels installed on your building. Solar energy is a vital part of moving away from our reliance on fossil fuels; but for it to produce the energy you need, the panels must be in top working order at all times. Regular inspection is an essential part of this, just as it is with ensuring the structural integrity of buildings and other alternative energy sources, such as wind power. Solar and drone wind turbines inspection protocols require the right technology, experienced operators and the right conditions.
What Can Solar Panel Drone Photography Tell You?
Solar panels are made up of numerous small cells called photovoltaic cells. These cells convert sunlight into electricity by allowing particles of light (photons) to knock electrons free from atoms. This generates a flow of electricity. The panels are often connected to batteries that store any unused electricity, for use when the solar panels are not producing enough or any solar energy. A fault in a solar panel can reduce the rate of electricity flow and potentially cause overheating and pose a fire risk. Regular inspection of the panels is essential to prevent this from occurring and to allow for maintenance to happen in a timely manner. However, inspecting solar panels is not without its difficulties. If you own and operate a solar farm, then inspecting each panel in turn from ground level is extremely time-consuming. And, without the right equipment, hot spots and other issues that are not visible on the surface can go unnoticed. If you have solar panels on your roof, then access becomes another issue that you need to overcome. Drone solar panel inspection is one way to overcome all these issues and undertake quick and cost-effective regular inspections. Using a drone for solar panel inspection lets you get up above the panels. You can fly the drone – and therefore the camera – at the height needed to achieve both close inspection on the physical structure and a comparative overview of a range of panels. A solar panel drone can also be fitted with thermal cameras that enable you to see changes in heat distribution within the cells.
What Are The Best Conditions For A Solar Panel Inspection With Drone Technology?
When planning your solar panel inspection, you need to carefully consider the weather conditions. Your concerns here are two-fold. Firstly, you want the solar panels to be working as efficiently as possible and with as little interference as possible. Secondly, you need conditions that are conducive to steady and well-controlled drone flight. As solar panels capture energy from the sun, ideally you want a clear day with no clouds overhead. While solar panels do work through cloud cover, they do reduce solar irradiance. Cloud cover can also produce reflections that cause interference. How much interference depends on the sensitivity of the drone camera being used. The more sensitive the camera, the less cloud cover becomes an issue. Airflow and temperature can also affect the results of a solar panel inspection with drone. Calm conditions are preferable, as airflow across the surface of the panel causes convective cooling and reduces the thermal gradient. When it comes to temperature, you ideally want a cooler time of day to increase potential thermal contrast. Early mornings are often chosen as the best time to carry out inspections for this reason. Many of the same weather considerations affect the drone itself. When using a drone for solar panel inspection, you want calm, clear conditions to make flying easier and steadier. The outcome of your inspection will be negatively affected if the operator is unable to keep a steady flight path at a set height. The safety of the operator, other individuals close by, the panels themselves, and other surrounding structures also need to be taken into account.
How Do You Choose The Right Solar Panel Drone Inspection Company?
Choosing the right solar panel drone inspection company is vital to the success of your inspection regime. The company needs to have the right equipment, the right experience and the right training to be able to carry out legal and responsible drone flights. When approaching a company that offers drone photography, it is important that you ask the right questions. Check that they have public liability insurance; this is vital in case something goes wrong and someone is hurt during your inspection. Also, check that they are approved by the Civil Aviation Authority. This means that they have the skills and experience needed to safely handle larger and more complex drones. It also means that they understand the rules and regulations that surround drone flight. Check the accumulated flight time of the operators. You don’t want an operator who is out on their own for the first time, unless this is part of a package that you agree with the company – after all, everyone has to start somewhere. Any company you approach for your drone solar panel inspection should also be interested in finding out more about you and your project. Before agreeing to the job, they should request some basic information, such as the date, location and purpose of drone photography. They should also take the time to talk you through what the inspection will entail, how long it should take, and the overall cost of the operation. One drone company that does all this and much more is Rising View Aerial Drone Video & Photography.
Rising View Aerial Drone Video & Photography For All Your Drone Solar Panel Inspection Needs
At Rising View Aerial Drone Video & Photography, we take our drone operator roles very seriously. All our team are RPAS qualified and are members of ARPAS and the Drone Safety Register. Our multi-award-winning operators boast thousands of hours of flight time and all carry public liability insurance. We know that every drone solar panel inspection job is different and so we take the time to discuss your specific needs. If you want to book our services or have any questions, call our Dundee office on (01382) 609015, our Aberdeen office on (01224) 061795, our Glasgow office on (0141) 2120833 or if you are in Edinburgh, call (0131) 3570365. Alternatively, use the contact form on our website at https://www.risingview.co.uk.