For any business in the fast-growing solar industry, small improvements can make a world of difference. So for solar providers, a drone platform can be the distinction between OK and the best. Solar drone inspections can help providers make the leap from ineffectual to productive, from risky to refined. But how do they do it? Here are five reasons, from surveys to horizon reports, that solar companies need a drone platform.
Faster Measurements and Modeling
Tedious and time-consuming are expensive words for a solar company. By using drones for solar site surveys, inspectors can gather accurate and precise information, build plans and get installs finished faster. Without drone technology, a survey can take over an hour to complete and can sometimes require multiple employees and tools. If the surveyor’s measurements are inaccurate or missing details, the entire process has to be re-done and the plans re-created. The process is prone to human error and leaves little room to focus on new sales and installs. With a solar drone inspection, these problems become obsolete. Drone platforms allow surveyors to scan and measure entire structures in just a few minutes, nearly tripling their overall output. During a solar drone inspection, dozens of ultra-high-res roof images are captured, which are used to obtain measurements and auto-generate 3D models. Faster measurements and modeling for the surveyor means quicker turnaround and more time to generate new business for the company.
Site-Wide Data Capture
Some drone solutions merely get the job done, while others revolutionize the process of solar panel installation. Solutions like IMGING qualify as the latter. By providing users with a predefined list of needed images called an Inspect List, as well as instructions for each image, a solution such as IMGING actually simplifies site-wide capture and makes it easy for solar site surveyors to create a full inspection workflow in the field. Surveyors can snap required photos (electrical panels, attics, etc.) and include them as part of their inspection right inside the app.
Simplified Design Process
After a standard inspection, solar surveyors will deliver the data to a CAD designer, who will develop 2D digital renderings from the sketches. Alternatively, after a solar drone inspection a platform such as IMGING will automatically create a 3D model and allow users to export that model as a flattened DXF file into the CAD program. As a result, the time it takes to create and finalize designs is effectively cut in half.
Automated Horizon Photos and Reports
Another benefit of drone technologies for solar providers is the comprehensive data they offer. Many drone platforms like IMGING have automated flight plans that capture roof and property information. Some tools have scans that automate horizon photos and reports – data that many of the country’s largest solar companies require. Rather than having to use an app that requires them to get on a roof, installers can use automated drone scans to provides a full 360-degree image capture of the horizon at two locations directly above the center of the roof. Automated scans like these provide data far more accurate and reliable than that derived from theodolite apps. It can also decrease the risk of injury by keeping users off the roof.
Reduced Creation Costs
If the old adage “time is money” holds true, then a drone platform is a necessity for a solar company. As mentioned above, solar drone inspections save a substantial amount of time for surveyors and designers, which means a significant reduction in creation costs for the solar provider. A drone platform can enhance the efficiency of operations and help solar companies do much more with much less; more accurate measurements with less time spent on surveys, more comprehensive data capture with less time spent on rooftops, more seamless design with less hassle and overall more solar installs with less cost. The automation and accuracy of a drone platform gives solar companies the ability to not only increasing the speed and quality of their work, but reduce the risk of injury-related expenses and lower operating costs with a flexible labor force and faster design processes.
If the solar industry is a train moving full speed ahead, drone platforms are is a solar provider’s ticket to ride. By simplifying and streamlining the entire solar panel process from site survey to installation, drone platforms can save solar companies time and money, putting them one step ahead of the competition. Because solar drone inspections are the answer to a more accurate, faster turnaround and cost effective organization, a solar company utilizing a drone platform is one much less prone to error, and one much more prepared for success.