Blog: See What Others Can’t With IMGING’s New Thermal Drone Software

See What Others Can’t With IMGING’s New Thermal Drone Software

Bidding on roofing jobs can be fiercely competitive. In commercial roofing, standing out requires not just addressing visible issues but foreseeing potential ones. Residential roofers in extreme temperature areas can identify unseen issues.  

 IMGING Flight’s latest thermal drone technology lets you detect hidden problems like moisture entrapment and insulation failures—issues often missed by traditional methods. By performing initial inspections during the assessment phase, you not only pinpoint minor issues before they turn into major expenses but also position yourself advantageously when it’s time to bid for roof replacements. Your proactive approach and detailed insights from your efficient drone inspections and comprehensive assessment reports will be respected and valued by potential clients.  

That’s why we recently added  DJI Mavic 3 Thermal drone support to IMGING Flight. This update means we now offer automated drone flight using thermography for both commercial and residential roofing along with solar panel assessments. Let’s dive into what this means for you. 


Why DJI Mavic 3 Thermal? 

The integration of the DJI Mavic 3 Thermal into the IMGING platform is an exciting development. This powerful combination offers roofing and solar professionals a sophisticated tool to better diagnose and address issues from a new perspective—using thermography. 

Thermal drone imaging is particularly effective because it allows us to see temperature variations across surfaces, revealing potential problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Here’s how this technology makes a difference: 

  • Roofing Applications: Quickly pinpoint areas where heat escapes, which might indicate insulation problems, or spot moisture accumulation that could lead to damage if not addressed. 
  • Solar Panel Efficiency: Easily identify panels that are not performing well due to damage or defects, ensuring that solar installations operate at their best. 
  • Commercial Property Inspections: Efficiently survey large rooftops, spotting issues like poor insulation or water leaks that could otherwise remain unnoticed. 


Understanding Thermal Imaging 

Grasping the basics of how thermal imaging works can significantly enhance its application in inspections: 

  1. Heat Anomaly Detection: Thermal cameras highlight areas where temperatures differ significantly, which often indicates potential issues.
  2. Water Damage Identification: The M3T thermal camera is excellent at revealing areas where moisture is present, which can lead to structural issues if left unchecked.
  3. Comprehensive Property Analysis: Beyond problem detection, thermal imaging can help in forming maintenance strategies and improving energy efficiency.

   Thermal drone imagery


Exploring Use Cases for Thermal Drone Inspections 

Thermal drone technology is custom-fitting solutions to meet the distinct needs of both commercial and residential properties. Let’s break down how these high-tech tools are being put to work: 


Commercial Buildings 

On the commercial side, these drones are perfect for surveying large rooftops quickly and efficiently. They can spot poor insulation spots and detect moisture buildup that could lead to serious issues if left unchecked. This means less downtime and more proactive maintenance, keeping commercial operations smooth and safe. 

  1. Scope and Scale: These buildings often have extensive, flat roofs where traditional methods can be less effective.
  2. Focus Areas: Key aspects include detecting energy inefficiencies, moisture, and planning preventive maintenance.

  commercial thermal drone inspection

Residential Homes 

For homes, thermal drones help pinpoint areas where heating might be escaping or where water might be seeping in unseen. This ensures that homes remain cozy and dry, potentially saving homeowners on future repair bills and energy costs. 

  1. Detail-Oriented Approach: Smaller, pitched roofs require precise inspections to directly impact home living conditions.
  2. Focus Areas: We look for signs of leaks, assess insulation quality, and evaluate the overall roof health.

  residential thermal drone inspection


Solar Panel Inspections 

As we continue to explore the use cases and capabilities of the DJI Mavic 3 Thermal with IMGING flight technology, an exciting and increasingly vital area of application is within the solar industry. Solar panel installations are surging across the globe as more people and businesses opt for renewable energy sources. However, maintaining these installations in optimal working condition is crucial to ensuring they deliver maximum energy efficiency and return on investment. Here’s how thermal drones are making a significant impact on solar panel inspections. 


Identifying Solar Panel Issues 

Thermal drones are particularly adept at identifying panels that may be underperforming due to damage or defects. Here’s how they help: 

  1. Heat Signature Detection: Solar panels should typically have a uniform heat signature when operating correctly. Variations in this signature can indicate issues such as electrical faults, damage from environmental factors, or manufacturing defects.
  2. Early Detection of Failures: By catching issues early, thermal drones help prevent larger system failures that can lead to costly repairs and downtime. This early detection is key to maintaining the longevity and efficiency of solar arrays.

solar thermal drone


Streamlining Solar Maintenance 

Maintaining solar panels can often be labor-intensive and costly, especially when considering large arrays commonly found in commercial settings. Thermal drones streamline this process by: 

  • Quick Scanning of Large Areas: Drones can cover extensive areas in a short period, making it practical to regularly inspect large solar farms or rooftop installations. 
  • Pinpointing Problematic Panels: Instead of manually testing each panel, operators can use data from drones to focus maintenance efforts only where needed, significantly reducing labor and costs. 


Incorporating Thermal Drones in Routine Solar Inspections 

With the clear benefits that thermal imaging offers, it’s becoming an industry standard to incorporate drone inspections into routine maintenance schedules for solar installations. This could even be included in a warranty. These inspections are particularly useful for: 

  1. Large-scale Solar Farms: The ability to quickly and efficiently scan vast areas can lead to significant operational improvements.
  2. Commercial Installations: In environments where downtime or reduced efficiency directly impacts operational costs.
  3. Residential Solar Arrays: Helping homeowners ensure their investment is protected and performs well over its lifespan.


Ensuring Proper Training and Expertise 

Conducting effective thermal drone inspections requires both technical skills and regulatory knowledge: 

  • Thermal Imaging Certification: Essential for understanding and interpreting the complex data captured by thermal cameras. 
  • FAA Part 107 Certification: Necessary for legally operating drones for commercial purposes in the U.S. 
  • Building Science Acumen: Understanding the construction and dynamics of buildings helps in accurately diagnosing and solving issues based on thermal readings. 


Wrapping Up 

Adding DJI Mavic 3 Thermal to our IMGING Flight suite shows our dedication to innovation in property inspections. Thermal drones enable us to see beyond the eye can see, capturing subtle temperature variations that reveal insulation issues, moisture intrusion, or even solar panel defects before they become costly problems. In practical terms, this means more efficient, safer inspections for both residential and commercial properties. For roofs, we can spot potential damage without ever climbing a ladder. For solar arrays, it’s about ensuring each panel works as hard as it should. 


Contact us today by filling out the form below to learn more about thermal drone imagery and pave the way into the future of property inspections, one flight at a time. 

Request a Demo


Social Media



Recent Articles

Newsletter Signup

Stay up to date with current news from Lovelandinnovations

Request More Info