The functionalities of a drone are revolutionizing solar panel and wind turbine monitoring and inspections.
FREMONT, CA: Solar and wind energy are growing in significance and seeing rapid rates of adoption. In the process, infrastructure for solar and wind energy is also expanding. To effectively monitor, manage, and maintain the infrastructure, operators can either opt for conventional or advanced ways. While the conventional methods, with a high degree of dependence on manual capabilities, are costly and time-consuming, the advanced approaches that use technological interventions like drones are more cost-effective and more efficient. Drone technology has significant advantages when it comes to achieving superior inspection capabilities, which are optimized to suit the requirements of modern solar and wind energy facilities.
Unmanned aircraft systems equipped with digital and infrared cameras are quickly becoming a better alternative to the traditional thermographic inspections. The high-resolution drone-mounted cameras can get images of solar panels extending over large areas in a matter of hours and display the defective cells that need repair. Even for rooftop solar panels that make safe accessibility for inspections a concern, drones are becoming the solution. Now, energy companies do not have to employ technicians who would need to scale buildings and examine every solar panel individually. Rather, a drone can be operated remotely to get close-up images from every angle and detect anomalies reliably. Besides, the inspection speed and efficiency of a drone are extremely high when compared to that of a technician.
Scaling structures in wind-based power generation plants to carry out periodic inspections can now be substituted with drone-driven approaches. The agility and reach of drones can be very advantageous in deriving accurate information about the condition of every blade of every turbine in a wind energy farm. In both the case of solar, as well as wind, the drones can be connected to satellite-based positioning systems, allowing accurate location and measurement capabilities. Apart from that, drones can easily test for the presence of mold, moisture, or weather-related damages.
With drones in their arsenal solar and wind energy companies are guaranteed to have the upper hand in inspecting and maintaining every component of their infrastructure with impeccable efficiency.
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