Zeitview’s Releases Aerial Inspection Report of U.S. Solar Power Plants
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Walker Robinson
Zeitview has released the results of their 2023 North American Solar Scan. Using aerial imaging they have determined that 51% of operational systems are in excellent or good condition.
Based in Santa Monica, CA, Zeitview is a leader in aerial inspection technology and committed to advancing the transition to renewable energy. They combine aerial imagery with AI-enabled software to identify actionable insights for utility-scale solar owners and operators. Zeitview intends to expand its operations beyond North America, with a goal of inspecting 200 gigawatts (GW) of operational solar installations globally.
In the United States, solar photovoltaic has become the fastest growing energy generation technology, and complementary technologies such as UAV and aerial imaging offer modern solutions to meet the accelerating industry’s needs. There are more than 100 GW of large-scale solar in operation today and an additional 150 GW planned for installation in the next five years. Zeitview’s aerial inspection technology offers valuable insights into efficiency losses, deterioration, and defects in new and existing solar installations.
Using a combination of manned and unmanned aircrafts, Zeitview gathers both photographic and thermal imaging. This data is put through AI-enabled software trained to detect specific defects in solar photovoltaic equipment and the results are reviewed by solar industry experts. Ultimately, this allows solar fleet owners and operators to make informed decisions for their installations, saving money and allowing them to use their labor resources in the most efficient way possible.
Zeitview’s North American Solar Scan includes data from 90% of the largest solar installations in North America, assigning installations with a rating from AAA to DDD based on the site’s condition. Of the 95 megawatts recorded, 51% of the solar plants received a BBB rating or higher, reflecting that they were in good or excellent operational condition. Only 2% of the installations were determined to be truly distressed, and the remaining 47% were determined to require varying degrees of service to attain a “good” or “excellent” rating.
“The insights offered by the North American Solar Scan provide the oversight crucial to maintaining high-performing assets to enable a successful clean energy transition. This data can tell owners and O&M firms specifically where to troubleshoot while saving them money on inspection costs. More importantly, it helps focus the limited labor resources on the power plants that actually need attention,” said Mark Culpepper, general manager of global solar solutions at Zeitview.
Continued optimization and incentivization of renewable energy have led to a 45% of electricity-generation additions in 2023 coming from the solar industry. The utilization of drones for aerial inspection offers a solution to the constraints facing the inspection and maintenance of solar arrays. Zeitview will further showcase their findings, asset rating system, and imaging technology at the RE+ convention September 11-14 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Walker Robinson is a 2022 Graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara with a passion for renewable energy and emerging technologies. An early career professional experienced in both sales and development of residential and utility-scale renewable energy systems, he is delighted to be part of the drone industry.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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