Wind and sun oriented are controlling a perfect energy transformation. This is what you need to think about renewables and how you can help have an effect at home.
Solar Energy
Solar Energy
Sun powered, or photovoltaic (PV), cells are produced using silicon or different materials that change daylight straightforwardly into power. Disseminated galaxies create power locally for homes and organizations, either through roof boards or local area projects that power whole areas. Sun based ranches can produce power for a large number of homes, utilizing mirrors to think daylight across sections of land of sunlight based cells. Drifting sun based homesteads or "floatovoltaics" can be a successful utilization of wastewater offices and waterways that aren't naturally touchy. Sunlight based supplies somewhat more than 1% of U.S. power age. However, almost 33% of all new creating limit came from sun powered in 2017, second just to petroleum gas. Sun oriented energy frameworks don't create air toxins or ozone depleting substances, and as long as they are dependably sited, most sunlight based boards have not many natural effects past the assembling interaction.
Wind Energy
Wind Energy
We've made considerable progress from older style wind plants. Today, turbines as tall as high rises with turbines almost as wide in measurement prepare for action all throughout the planet. Wind energy turns a turbine's sharp edges, which takes care of an electric generator and produces power. Wind, which represents somewhat more than 6% of U.S. age, has become the least expensive fuel source in numerous pieces of the country. Top breeze power states incorporate California, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa, however turbines can be put anyplace with high wind rates like ridges and open fields or even seaward in untamed water.
Hydroelectric Power
Hydroelectric Power
Hydropower is the biggest sustainable power hotspot for power in the United States, however wind energy is before long expected to assume control over the lead. Hydropower depends on water commonly quick water in an enormous waterway or quickly diving water from a high point and converts the power of that water into power by turning a generator's turbine sharp edges. Broadly and globally, huge hydroelectric plants or super dams are frequently viewed as nonrenewable energy. Uber dams redirect and decrease common streams, confining access for creature and human populaces that depend on waterways. Little hydroelectric plants (an introduced limit underneath around 40 megawatts), painstakingly oversaw, don't will in general reason as much natural harm, as they redirect just a negligible portion of stream.
Biomass Energy
Biomass Energy
Biomass is natural material that comes from plants and creatures, and incorporates crops, squander wood, and trees. At the point when biomass is singed, the compound energy is delivered as warmth and can create power with a steam turbine. Biomass is frequently erroneously portrayed as a spotless, inexhaustible fuel and a greener choice to coal and other non-renewable energy sources for creating power. In any case, late science shows that numerous types of biomass particularly from backwoods produce higher fossil fuel byproducts than petroleum derivatives. There are additionally unfortunate results for biodiversity. All things considered, a few types of biomass energy could fill in as a low-carbon alternative under the right conditions. For instance, sawdust and chips from sawmills that would some way or another rapidly deteriorate and discharge carbon can be a low-carbon fuel source.
Geothermal Energy
Geothermal Energy
In the event that you've at any point loose in an underground aquifer, you've utilized geothermal energy. The world's center is probably just about as warm as the sun's surface, because of the sluggish rot of radioactive particles in rocks at the focal point of the planet. Penetrating profound wells carries hot underground water to the surface as an aqueous asset, which is then siphoned through a turbine to make power. Geothermal plants commonly have low emanations on the off chance that they siphon the steam and water they use once more into the supply. There are approaches to make geothermal plants where there are not underground supplies, but rather there are worries that they may build the danger of a seismic tremor in regions previously viewed as topographical problem areas.
Atomic force, the utilization of supported atomic parting to create warmth and power, contributes almost 20% of the power produced in America. The United States has utilized atomic force for over 60 years to create solid, low-carbon energy and to help public protection exercises. The Energy Department's Office of Nuclear Energy's essential mission is to progress atomic force as an asset fit for making significant commitments in gathering our country's energy supply, ecological, and energy security needs. By zeroing in on the improvement of cutting edge atomic advances, NE upholds the Administration's objectives of giving homegrown wellsprings of secure energy, lessening ozone depleting substances, and upgrading public safety. Atomic force stays a significant piece of our country's energy portfolio, as we endeavor to diminish fossil fuel byproducts and address the danger of worldwide environmental change.
Biomass is a natural environmentally friendly power source that incorporates materials like farming and timberland buildups, energy yields, and green growth. Researchers and architects at the Energy Department and National Laboratories are discovering new, more productive approaches to change over biomass into biofuels that can replace ordinary fills like gas, diesel, and fly fuel. Bioenergy can help guarantee a monetarily strong and secure future while decreasing natural effects through: 1.Developing moderate homegrown fills and co-items 2. Propelling clean fuel sources 3.Generating homegrown responsibilities to help the development of the U.S. bioeconomy. Innovative work to change inexhaustible carbon and waste assets into feedstocks for transformation to biofuels, bioproducts, and bio power will reasonably grow biomass asset potential in the United States.
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) centers around exploration, advancement, and exhibit of hydrogen and power module advances across various areas empowering development, a solid homegrown economy, and a perfect, evenhanded energy future. Hydrogen is the least difficult and most bountiful component known to man. It is found inside water, petroleum derivatives, and all living matter, yet it seldom exists as a gas on Earth—it should be isolated from different components. There are different homegrown assets that can be utilized to deliver hydrogen, including renewables (wind, sun oriented, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal energy), atomic force, and petroleum products (like flammable gas and coal – with carbon catch and sequestration). The U.S. at present creates in excess of 10 million metric huge loads of hydrogen each year, around one-seventh of the worldwide inventory.

Flying high: how drones are revolutionizing the solar industry

Reading Time: 5 minutes Ten years ago, if you were installing a rooftop solar system, one of your installer’s first steps was to come to your house, climb up on your roof, and take a bunch of measurements and pictures to evaluate the project. However, this process is now starting to change with the rise of a new technology: […]

Reading Time: 5 minutes Ten years ago, if you were installing a rooftop solar system, one of your installer’s first steps was to come to your house, climb up on your roof, and take a bunch of measurements and pictures to evaluate the project. However, this process is now starting to change with the rise of a new technology: […]Reading Time: 5 minutes

Ten years ago, if you were installing a rooftop solar system, one of your installer’s first steps was to come to your house, climb up on your roof, and take a bunch of measurements and pictures to evaluate the project. However, this process is now starting to change with the rise of a new technology: drones. Drones in solar have a number of advantages that make them appealing to both homeowners and installers, including saving time and money for everyone involved. In this article, we’ll take a look at how drones are used in solar projects and explore some major companies on the cutting edge of this technology. 

Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2021

Key takeaways

  • Drones are changing the solar installation process by offering a safer, faster, and more reliable method for site surveys and inspections
  • Drone technology can be used in multiple ways in the solar industry, from residential to utility scale projects, and throughout the installation process, including surveys and inspections
  • Adding a drone program is a fairly simple process for installers, and drone software companies like Scanifly, Loveland Innovations, and Raptor Maps will help along the way
  • See what EnergySage installers are offering when you get quotes through the EnergySage Marketplace

How are drones used in solar?

Drones can be used in a few different ways throughout the solar industry. The main use cases can be broken down into two categories: residential projects and utility scale projects. 

Residential projects

For residential projects, one of the most common use cases for drones is in surveying and system design. As previously mentioned, the traditional method for a site survey is to have a surveyor physically climb onto the roof of your house, collect all the necessary measurements by hand, and sketch out the roof plan on a sheet of paper. However, there are three main issues with this approach: it’s dangerous for the installer, time consuming, and, at times, inaccurate. Drones offer the chance to improve on each of these three issues. 

With a drone survey, an installer will pilot the drone safely from the ground and fly it up and around the house, where it will take a series of pictures to construct a 3D computer model. Amazingly, the drone’s flight only takes about eight minutes, representing a 90 percent decrease in typical onsite time! The model will have near perfect measurements of the roof and will take into account key shading and azimuth (angular measurement) data, which will be used in your solar system’s design. It’s more accurate than other measurement techniques–like satellite and Lidar (light detection and ranging)–due to the close proximity of the camera to the house. Once the model is finished, engineers can work directly with it to design the system and financiers can use it to determine the price–all without needing to physically climb on the roof!

Drones can also be used in other steps in the residential solar installation process. For example, during installation, drone footage can assist installers by detecting safety hazards, monitoring worker progress for optimal productivity, and providing aerial imaging and terrain mapping.

Utility scale projects

With utility scale solar projects, drones can provide value in a few different ways. Unlike residential solar projects that often require rooftop surveys, utility scale solar projects are almost always ground based. Thus, while drones can be used in the monitoring of ongoing construction in utility scale solar projects, they won’t provide the same safety and accuracy benefits that they do in residential projects. Instead, it’s in the energy production monitoring of these vast solar projects that drones really come into their own. 

Utility scale solar projects are often spread out over large areas in harsh environments, and to check each panel for defects can take hours. With drones, pilots can cover the entire area in a fraction of the time, capture footage, and analyze thermal data for panel output anomalies. Energy production issues identified in check ups like these can result in thousands of dollars (and kilowatt-hours) saved. 

What are the major benefits of solar drone programs?

Using drones provides many benefits to both installers and homeowners. For installers, the reduced time for surveying and design translates into more projects and increased revenue; while a surveyor can typically complete one to two properties each day without a drone, this number can jump to as high as 11 to 12 properties with a drone, depending on the properties’ proximity to each other. Additionally, keeping surveyors off of roofs creates safer working conditions, which often lowers insurance costs. 

For the homeowner, the use of drones means both a faster and more accurate solar process, provided by the precision of 3D modeling. There’s also a lower risk of complications later in the process from unforeseen issues or miscommunication between surveyor and designer, as the drone footage will be available for everyone throughout the project. 

How can solar installers add a drone program?

If you’re an installer, adding a drone program to your company is relatively straightforward. The first step is to purchase the drone itself: some highly recommended models for solar use include the Mavic Pro 1, Mavic Pro 2, or the Phantom series–just make sure to check that your drone is compatible with the software system you intend to use. Next, you’ll need to identify who will be flying the drones, provide them with learning materials, and have them take a test to obtain a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 license–the commercial drone license required everywhere in the United States. You’ll then need to pay a five dollar fee to register each drone with the FAA, which is valid for three years. Finally, you’ll choose and purchase your 3D modeling software: all three of the software companies discussed below have comprehensive training programs to teach your company how to use both the software and the drone together to obtain the best results. 

Who are some major drone software companies?

There are a number of companies creating drone based software for specialized use in solar. Some are more targeted towards residential project use, while others focus on utility scale. 


Scanifly is a major player in the residential space, selling solar design software to create and facilitate 3D modeling based on property surveys. They also have a training system that helps installers get FAA certified, purchase drones, and learn their software, all with the goal of empowering installers to build their own drone programs. 

Loveland Innovations

Loveland Innovations offer similar services to Scanifly, with 3D modeling and analysis software for residential solar projects. The main difference between the two is that Loveland makes use of autopilot technology to fly the drones on a prearranged flight path, without the need for an expert pilot. 

Raptor Maps

Raptor Maps focuses more on utility scale solar, using machine learning technology to analyze thermal drone footage of large projects. This analysis then enables owners to pinpoint areas of concern as well as make data driven decisions to improve electricity output and keep costs competitive. 

Drones have a bright future in solar

Drones have an extremely promising future in the solar industry. On the residential side, they keep surveyors safely off the roof while enabling them to do their job quicker and more accurately. For utility scale solar projects, they enable companies to more efficiently monitor the state of their projects. As a result, drone technology is becoming increasingly preferred over traditional methods like hand measurements and SunEyes (handheld electronic tools), and even over more complex technology like Lidar. Expect to see more installers making use of drones throughout their solar installation process in the coming months and years!

Looking to install a solar system?

If you’re interested in installing a solar system on your property, be sure to check out the EnergySage Marketplace to compare quotes from multiple installers. Hoping to find an installer with a drone program? While many installers haven’t yet adopted this exciting new technology, if you’re excited about drones, simply make a note in your EnergySage profile–you could be the impetus for an installer adding a drone program!

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