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Solar drones. Work at PV plants

22.02.2018 — 0

We decided to continue a small series of articles about technological innovations — unmanned aerial vehicles. Last time we told what unusual and useful solar-powered drones exist on the market.

Solar DAO — a tokenized fund designed for everyone to easily participate in PV solar plants construction across the globe. SDAO tokens on: YoBit

Today we will pay attention to special drones, designed for work at solar stations.
Maintenance of solar panels is a hard and time-consuming process. As a rule, special workers manually bypass the PVS and check the efficiency of its individual parts. But despite such a thorough maintenance method, it can be quite difficult to understand that the module has failed, or its power output has decreased.

The main problems that arise in solar power plants work (according to NREL):

Panel Errors. Solar panels are long-serving and trouble-free, but its work can limited by pollution. Fallen leaves, grass, branches slow the module’s operation, creating a thermal point — the place with garbage is heated. If the panel temperature rises, there is a risk not only of stopping work but also of a fire. The solar panel will also be hot if it has mechanical damages — chips and scratches. Therefore, it is very important to detect the problem in time and prevent the system from shutting down.

System failures. These problems include errors in the inverter due to worn-out connection, the old worn out cables, fuses failure. It also includes the problem in alternate connection of modules to each other (network disconnection).

Construction error. Each solar module is installed on special fasteners — racks. In order for the panel to follow the angle of sunlight, mobile structures are installed. If the installation does not follow a lot of nuances, the rack is not reliably fixed, the solar panel can significantly reduce its energy production. It is important to notice and fix this problem ASAP.

Drones are able to recognize the malfunctions in the PVS operation and eliminate them. Some devices are used to continuously monitor the panels’ operation and keep it in proper condition.


SunPower has been using its own drones for a long time. The use of drones makes it possible to build PVS faster than before. Special drones are launched to explore the area potentially suitable for construction. After that, the developers study the data collected by the drone, and like the Tetris game, superimpose blocks of future modules and inverters on the area’s photo. This allows the company to design the most effective solar power plant in the specified territory.

Credit: Atlas Projekt


The use of special drones can prevent the problem of solar panels heating. These drones are attached with infrared cameras and various sensors that help viewing the PVS area and each separate module installed (even in direct degrees). With the help of infrared cameras, you can notice the minimal heating of the panel and eliminate it in time.

There are a lot of companies that have developed their own drones for PVS television monitoring in the market. It is only necessary to send drones to the modules, get the data from cameras and determine which panels need cleaning or repair.

For solar plant servicing **Solar DAO has chosen drones from **ATLAS Projekt.
A great advantage is that Atlas Drones allow you to not only monitor panels with a thermal imager but also fully serve the PVS.

  • Aerial solar plant photography
  • Thermal territory imaging not only in manual mode but also along a given course
  • Visual sensors for detecting malfunctions in structures or connections
  • A full report on each inspection performed for every module.


The Aerial Power company has invented its own drone for solar panels cleaning. According to the developers, regular cleaning of surfaces from dust and dirt will allow achieving constantly high energy production. Polluted modules reduce its efficiency by almost a third.

Credit: Aerial Power

Solar Brush is able to work autonomously on a given route. The drone slides on the solar panel, shaking the dust with brushes. Small robots are able not only to support the PVS efficiency but also reduce the cost of its maintenance since they almost do not require human participation in work.

The technologies of unmanned aerial vehicles allow developers to reduce costs at all stages of the PVS operation: from the planning stage to the regular servicing. Stay with Solar DAO to know the latest innovations in solar energy.

*Solar DAO — a tokenized fund designed for everyone to easily participate in PV solar plants construction across the globe. SDAO tokens on: *YoBit

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