Solar Drones 15 May 2017

Drone in the sky

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?...No, it’s a drone and it’s filming solar panels!!?

It’s not every day you see a miniature camera shaped like a UFO flying above the city of Leeds.

YES Energy Solutions recently commissioned Sky Filming to collect aerial video footage of several solar PV arrays that we installed on public buildings on behalf of Leeds City Council.

As part of our maintenance agreement, we were keen to find out if any of the systems had been compromised or damaged which could be affecting their future performance.

Erecting scaffolding or using a crane to carry out the surveys would be expensive and a logistical nightmare. Whereas drones just need a clear day and somewhere to launch.

Having completed a risk assessment, Sky Filming contacted the centres and coordinated the flights.

The drones were remotely controlled from the ground and each could fly for as long as 20 minutes. A member of the team was required to stand back and watch the drone in action to ensure it didn’t fly off into uncharted territory.

The drone surveys took place over three days providing YES Energy Solutions with detailed footage of each solar PV system.

Sky Filming ready to launch drone for Solar PV inspection.  Sky Filming controlling the drone in the air. Drone survey - Solar PV from above

Jonathan Malory of Sky Filming explained:

"We always get a funny reaction when filming in towns and cities. People always do a double take when they spot the drone in the sky. They must think the aliens have landed!

"Drones are a great tool to use to film things like solar PV systems. It keeps costs down and you get a great bird’s eye view. Our clients can then inspect the videos and see if there is anything that needs rectifying."

Duncan McCombie, Chief Executive of YES Energy Solutions added:

"Having video footage is a great benefit as we can spend more time analysing each solar PV system to spot any defects rather than relying on a surveyor.

"Sometimes it is the littlest things which impact solar panels from working to their optimum efficiency. It could be shading from a tree that has grown over the last few years, or a small crack in one of the panels. These drone surveys are a great starting point to identify any problems so we can take the right course of action."

The Drone surveys took place across Leeds at Harry Booth House, John Charles Leisure Centre, John Smeaton Leisure Centre, Leeds Discovery Museum and Wetherby Leisure Centre.

For more information about YES Energy Solutions call:

T: 01422 880100 (office hours: 9am - 5pm, Mon - Fri)

Or Contact Us

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