According to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report®—a quarterly report published by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables— the solar industry is slated for 25% growth this year. 2019 marked the largest Q1 ever recorded, with 1.6 GWdc of utility-scale solar installs accounting for 61% of capacity additions in the U.S. It is forecasted that the total installed U.S. PV capacity will more than double over the next five years.
The numbers speak for themselves. The solar industry is set for rapid growth, leaving solar executives with the pressures of keeping up. While the market grows and demands soar, here are some of the biggest challenges solar execs face, and how technologies such as apps, drones, and more can help.
Using these technologies to efficiently gather property information, digitize structures, explore and analyze those models, and then produce plan sets based on the findings will set your company apart and drive profitability like never before. Sophisticated drone platforms provide solar executives with the tools they need to make smart decisions, effect productive change within their organizations, and overcome some of the biggest challenges the industry has to offer.
Safety for Solar Surveyors
A predominant concern within the solar industry is safety. As the use of solar energy grows, so does the number of solar workers exposed to the hazards of the job. A manual solar inspection carries significant risk, requiring solar employees to take measurements and gather property information from the roof. Not only does this increase workers compensation premiums, but more importantly, it puts employees lives in danger.
This is where drone solutions shine. They help prevent injuries or loss of life from falls all together by supplying everything a surveyor needs to get the job done from the ground. Not only that, but highly adept software for solar installers delivers extensive, rich data. A drone solar strategy that incorporates a drone software is the best way for solar executives to eliminate risk and prioritize the safety of their staff, without compromising quality of work.
Crush the Competition
From their research, the SEIA discovered a more than 70% drop in the cost to install solar over the last decade. This has led the industry to deploy thousands of solar systems nationwide and expand into new markets. With substantial industry growth on the horizon, and as the cost to install solar systems decreases steadily, anything that can help solar executives cut costs and gain a unique competitive advantage is worth considering.
Once more, a drone-based solution puts you ahead of the game. With just a drone and a smart device, platforms like IMGING provide a better way to gather and deliver superior roof and property information. A solution that is customizable to each individual organization gives those organizations an edge, and the automated flight tools let users gather the rich, reliable data needed to crush their competition.
Without the hassle, headache, or error of manual solar site surveys, and by integrating a drone-based surveying platform, the entire solar installation process becomes vastly more productive. There is a host of reasons why solar companies need a drone platform, but in short, features such as site-wide data capture, faster measurements and modeling, a simplified design process, and detailed horizon reports streamline operations from start to finish, resulting in more profitability.
Some platforms allow solar installers to conduct inspections and obtain all the necessary data in under 45 minutes. They can then build plans themselves and produce CAD designs up to 50% faster, or use a plans as a service option for more output, more predictable costs, and more time-efficient engineering sets. Because site surveys can take as little as 10 minutes with some drone platforms, solar pros can sell and survey in the same visit, create accurate bids quickly, close more business in less time, and reduce creations costs in the process. For solar executives looking to eliminate bottlenecks, save time and money, and increase overall efficiency, a drone solution is the answer.
The caliber of work provided by a solar company directly correlates with the satisfaction of its customers and its status in the public eye. By elevating all of the above—prioritizing the safety of employees, reducing creation costs, gaining the upper hand in a competitive industry, and increasing operational efficiency—solar companies will cultivate and preserve a positive image. Producing higher quality work in half the time at a decreased cost in no small way determines whether your company boasts loyal promoters, or a fleeting clientele. Investing in the latest tech also serves to make your company appear as a leader; a company on the cutting edge, using everything available to bring the best possible experience to their customers from sales to survey to install.
Current trends in the solar sector, as well as the SEIA’s forecast of the market, warrant strategic action by enterprising industry execs. By enhancing their data, improving their processes, and augmenting their labor force, solar companies will be able to more easily meet demand and thrive.
Curious where IMGING fits in your solar company? Sign up for a demo.