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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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Robotic future. Solar Drones

19.02.2018 — 0

Dron is a simplified name for unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs. Flying and floating small size devices are created for a variety of purposes: from aerial photographs to goods delivery. The world-famous company Amazon has patented its own system for the delivery of goods with the help of drones. At the moment, the service is being tested in the UK, Israel, and Canada. As the developers stated, the drones will be able not only to take the parcel to the customer’s house but also to hand it in any place — even if the buyer is moving.

Picture by maddchadd

In addition, that drones perfectly help improve everyday life, some robots are created to take care of future and environment.

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

Water cleaning

Last year, a group of inventors presented the first prototype of a robotic cleaning water device — SeaVax. The device is created in the form of a boat with a storage container and all kinds of sensors. A drone is powered by solar energy — the modules are installed on the boat’s roof. It is designed to collect plastic waste in the UK waters, and the government of India is already interested in such invention. Due to the sensors, the cleaner does not confuse plastic with live water inhabitants and does not harm the environment. According to the developers, the boat is able to catch more than****20 thousand tons of harmful plastic waste per year.


This drone is not the only one existing on the market. The company RanMarine has created its own robot for water purification around Rotterdam — Waste Shark. Dron operates in an autonomous mode, charging from the built-in solar panels. Such a device is capable of catching up to 500 kg of garbage at one session.

Internet access

The world’s largest corporations are testing new ways of transferring data using automated drones. Google created its own program called SkyBender to distribute the new high-speed 5G Internet. The company plans to launch its own drones in locations with connection problems. Test launches of transceivers, operating on solar energy with their own modules are conducted in New Mexico. At the moment, Google is still working on improving the performance of drones, since the signal attenuation problem is still relevant. Nevertheless, the company has all chances to succeed in this project soon.

The head of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, plans to provide a high-speed connection for more than 4 billion people. The company has already conducted several successful test launches of its own Aquila drones, working on solar panels. According to the creator, the drone will be adapted for flights not only for long distances but also for a very long work time — about 90 days in the air.

Prospects for Solar Drones

Alta Devices has developed special thin solar modules to cover drones. New technology allows creating very thin and highly efficient solar modules. According to the developers, this material is ideal for unmanned aerial vehicles. Flexible panels can be used on any surface, without interfering with aerodynamics and without increasing the drone’s weight.
Also: Audi plans to launch its own electric cars using the thin solar panels technology from Alta Devices.

Useful solar drones

Let’s take a look at a few solar powered UAVs used in various industries:

  1. “Owl”. The Foundation for Advanced Studies, together with Tiber, successfully tested a new drone designed for operation in the northern regions. The solar drone is designed for monitoring the area, as well as for data transmission, which will be much cheaper than conventional satellites.
  2. A special drone for the pipeline service was created in China. Monitoring networks usually takes a long time, as it is done manually by specialists. The development team from China demonstrated its new development — a lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle on solar modules. This drone can be successfully used due to a long working time — from one month of continuous flight.
  3. V3 for cartography. Recently, the world knew about the ultra-light drone created for 3D design. Tsubasa V3 is a 250-gram drone equipped with solar panels for charging. The robot can be used for other purposes — for checking damage from natural disasters, inspecting buildings, monitoring environmental objects.

Pic credit: thenextweb

  1. “Live” drone. Scientists from HHMI have developed a unique small drone based on a real dragonfly. To do this, experts have derived genetically modified dragonflies, which can be controlled by light signals. The modified dragonfly is equipped with a special transmitter and tiny solar modules, through which the insect gets commands by light flashes. 
    **The winged cyborg can be used on bee apiary **or as a **new tracking method **:).

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