Comparing drone inspection time to relevant manual inspections across the 4 sites, we saw an increase in inspection efficiency of 97%. On a per MWdc basis, cost savings due to efficiency gains ranged from $1074 to $1717 per MW, for an average of $1254/MW cost savings.
In one of the most significant advancements of unmanned aircraft under development by a U.S. utility, Xcel Energy is operating drones beyond visual line of sight during ongoing inspections of transmission lines near Denver.
Drone-based inspections provide cost reduction and revenue enhancement opportunities of over $600/turbine when compared to ground-based inspections. The savings value is two folds ($1200/turbine) when compared to corrective/reactionary maintenance.
SUAS News: ¬ ¬ Perceptual Robotics is applying leading edge autonomy concepts to industrial applications. ¬ Currently based in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, our passion is to bridge the divide between academia and industry.
Perceptual Robotics is applying leading edge autonomy concepts to industrial applications.
Currently based in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, our passion is to bridge the divide between academia and industry. ¬ Through our Innovate UK project, we will be developing a fully autonomous system for the intelligent, efficient and reliable inspection of wind turbines. ¬ Cont'd...
Katie Fehrenbacher¬ for T he Guardian: ¬ ¬ At the edge of a plot of muddy farmland, a few miles down the road from the University of California at Davis, an engineer takes a few quick steps across crop rows and lets go of a three-foot drone. Within seconds, the device - which weighs less than 2lbs and carries a powerful camera - ascends hundreds of feet into the cold, clear, blue sky and begins to snap detailed photos of the ground far below, including a long row of large solar panels mounted on steel poles.
This flight is just a test, demonstrated by Kingsley Chen, the drone fleet coordinator for SunPower at the solar companys research and development center, which is under construction and about a two-hour drive northeast of the San Francisco Bay Area. The drone will enable SunPower to survey a wide region and help design a solar power farm that can fit more solar panels on a piece of land, more quickly and for lower costs than it previously could. ¬ Con'td...
Julia Pyper for GreenTechMedia: Amazon caused quite the stir in 2013 when it announced plans to launch a drone delivery service. People were both thrilled and horrified at the thought of flying robots delivering toilet paper to our doorsteps.
Some drone enthusiasts hoped to see Amazon launch a drone-based solar installation service -- but alas, that business doesn't exist. Yet.
Drones are already disrupting the solar sector, however.
This week at Intersolar North America, DroneDeploy, a cloud software platform provider for commercial drones, and DJI, a leading maker of drones and camera technology, announced a partnership that is expected to dramatically increase the efficiency of solar panel installation and inspection using drone-based thermal imagery capture and analytics.
The companies claim that customers can reduce residential solar system measurement times by up to 50 percent and reduce commercial measurement times from days to minutes. In addition, on-board thermal imagery can help to ensure that equipment is in the optimal position for maximum production. Cont'd...
Drones will eventually be "as ubiquitous as pigeons", London-based futurist Liam Young recently predicted. They will be used for a lot of different tasks. One overlooked drone application even has the potential to become a trillion dollar business. And to save the world.
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