Inspection of roofs can be expensive for many reasons. From labor cost and time to documentation and human error, traditional roof inspections can take hours. Make your inspections take minutes with instant 4k imaging, mapping, and assessment with our expert licensed pilots. Additionally, when you use a drone you highly reduce the potential for injury to the person and damage to the roof.
High precision 4k photography and mapping quickly allows you to hone in on problem spots.
Save on time, labor, and related cost by reducing the need to stomp around on the roof!
Use drones where it is dangerous for people to go, and for quick preliminary assessments of large areas.
Assets & Facility Inspections
Due to the autonomous nature of drones, they can perform the same flight path many different times over a long period. This repetition makes directly comparing video and photos from different days possible and enables building security managers, maintenance crews, and building owners to see how the façade of a building changes over time, what security threats may exist, and monitor security officers.
Drone usage speeds up reaction time to disasters and improves responses through superior information. For example, when a wind turbine is broken or needs to be inspected, drones can rapidly generate a 3D model of the turbine complete with thermal imaging that can reveal cracks and other hazards without needing a person to climb all around the turbine to find the same problems. Armed with the information necessary to form a repair plan, crews can act more efficiently and safely. When natural disasters such as floods, wildfires, and earthquakes destroy many acres of property and land, drones can help by quickly finding and pinpointing survivors, rapidly creating accurate maps of the extent of the damage for cleanup crews, and helping companies stay in compliance.
Even indoors, drones can improve asset monitoring. Small UAVs can easily and safely get into spaces difficult for workers to access and record high-definition video the entire time.
Solar Farm Inspections
Solar energy is a renewable, clean energy source that’s poised to dramatically reshape the energy industry in the next decade. The industry has experienced growth of up to 50% per year. However, due to site planning, labor costs, and the expensive, fragile components used in solar panel construction, inspection and maintenance of solar farms can destroy ROI and costs the industry an estimated $1 billion per year. The longevity of a farm is dependent on whether inspections and repairs can be done within a budget. Drones are one of the best tools to optimize the inspection, repair, and maintenance process with their ability to quickly get actionable data that pinpoints specific problems, instead of workers needing to walk through acres of panels. Due to their built-in GPS, fixed-wing and rotor drones can fly over miles of land and take detailed infrared snapshots in a predetermined flight path. The consistency of the flight path allows farm managers to quickly identify what problems are impacting the farm and where exactly those problems are located, and even predict problems that might arise in the future. Drone data is detailed enough to use for warranty and insurance claims, reducing workload and increasing the likelihood of a successful claim.
Infrared sensors show exactly which cells are affected by effects such as delamination, short circuiting, or gas pockets.
When doing drone thermography inspections, three levels of detail are available depending on the flight altitude. If only a broad overview is needed, flights can be done at higher altitudes which decreases the flight time. Overview flights typically have a thermal resolution of 5 inches and a color resolution of 2 inches. This level of detail enables managers to identify broad problems with large panels, or with a group of smaller panels, such as combine, string, inverter, or module issues.
The second level of detail typically gives thermal resolutions of 2 inches and color resolutions of 0.7 inches. This represents a compromise between quick flights and image resolution, and sometimes may not be appropriate for very large farms. However, for maintenance teams, this level of detail is perfect because it allows analysis of the performance of individual modules instead of broad groups.
Finally, the highest level of detail available with a thermography drone with a reasonable flight altitude is 1 inch for thermal and 0.5 inch for color. This means that the inspection is IEC compliant and the data can be used for warranty and insurance claims. Complete understanding the performance of various aspects of a panel, such as overheated junction boxes or anomalous cells, is possible with this level of precision.
For more information on the three levels of detail available for solar farm inspections, please visit Raptor Maps which has published a comprehensive series of articles on the subject.
WHY DRONE INSPECTIONS?
Many industries require regular inspection of large structures or broad areas, such as transmission/distribution lines, wind turbines, or hazardous waste sites. These sites can be both dangerous and costly for ground crews or helicopters to inspect, and those solutions cannot provide detail comparable to granular information a drone can. Ensuring the safety of a ground crew is also more difficult than just avoiding the obstacles with a remotely-controlled drone. When the safety of a structure is unknown or compromised, Aerial Hawks’ drones and thermal imaging technology provide critical information about the integrity of support beams, pours, or environmental hazards. Once the safety hazards are known, ground crews can make better plans for repair, maintenance, or installation without compromising their own safety. Before you send ground crews, send a drone!
Support and repair crews as well as compliance reports benefit from the multi-spectral and topographic data drones provide remotely so they can bring the right tools and plan using up-to-date information. Current data can save a significant amount of money by exposing issues before they impact the project, even in areas or at heights impossible for ground crews to access.