DRONE THERMOGRAPHY:
THE NEW STANDARD
IN PV INSPECTIONS AT CELL-LEVEL ACCURACY

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HOW CAN PHOTOVOLTAIC THERMOGRAPHY WITH DRONES CONTRIBUTE TO ASSET OPTIMISATION?

Thermography identifies defects down to the single cell. This enables the early detection of existing and emerging anomalies that cannot be identified by other forms of system monitoring. The detection of these anomalies allows for direct recommendations for action to optimise earnings and improve the performance ratio.

Future cash flow losses can be reduced or avoided altogether. A clear analysis is presented to the O&M partner or company-own technical management after the thermography overflight, which can be implemented directly in optimisation measures such as module replacement or cleaning.

WHY IS DRONE THERMOGRAPHY THE MOST SUITABLE METHOD?

Thermography enables plant operators to analyse their plants transparently and reliably. Anomalies are clearly recognisable by elevated temperatures in the infrared image, which allows for the clear identification of defects. The registered temperatures, together with the image data, also allow a clear assessment of the scope of the anomaly and thus enable standardised comparisons with other existing plants. External influences such as solar radiation can also be taken into account and normalised.

The use of drones makes thermography much more effective and ensures that it can easily be integrated in standard maintenance even in large-scale systems. Gone are the days when employees walk through the park with hand-held thermography cameras and take images of the individual modules

DRONE THERMOGRAPHY WITH UCAIR

After commissioning a flyover by a thermographic drone from ucair, our team will handle your entire order, starting from arranging for a drone pilot, evaluation of the data, up to the final inspection report.

A constantly growing database with each inspection enables ucair to produce precise analysis results and thus sustainably optimise the performance ratio of the assets and the ROI of the portfolio. Prior inspections can be used as a basis for comparisons and enable increasingly precise predictions of future defects and performance developments of the assets. ucair’s user-friendly report can be included directly in quarterly reporting by asset managers and used by O&M partners for more accurate maintenance.

CONVENTIONAL METHODS
USING MODERN DRONES
IMPROVE THERMOGRAPHY

Many plant operators use monitoring systems that work at the inverter or string levels. These provide important information about possible malfunctions at the highest functional level. However, these systems do not provide any clarity as to which irregularities cause which malfunction in which part of the plant. In addition, some defects remain completely undetected. This leaves important potential for optimising system performance unexploited.

While monitoring systems can provide an indication of the functionality of the PV system, inexpensive drone thermography helps identify detailed optimisation potential at the module level. The high-resolution thermographic images provide O&M companies with a detailed overview of the individual modules of the photovoltaic system, their condition, and possible anomalies.

ACQUISITIONS
EVALUATE AND OPTIMISE

Thermography with drones can quickly provide a cost-effective overview of the condition of a solar plant. When selling a solar asset, the performance of the system can be checked and documented at short notice by an independent party, or it can be brought up to date by appropriate maintenance prior to sale. The evaluation uncovers the true earnings potential of a solar asset, even at short notice.

Usually, three different methods are employed:

  • an assessment of construction costs and depreciation,
  • a yield evaluation, or
  • a market-oriented evaluation.

A combination of all three methods is often used, whereby other parameters such as the grid access of the plant, remaining service life, and the feed-in tariff are also taken into account. Especially with yield-oriented evaluations, a thermographic flight enables the parties involved to perfectly maximise the narrow margins in solar energy. In 80% of cases, plants show anomalies that can be detected and eliminated by thermography and thus allow for a higher asset valuation.

BETTER ASSESSMENT
OF FUTURE CASH FLOWS

Whether it is a company-own asset or an acquisition: UAV thermography by ucair uncovers unrealised cash flows and earnings potentials. It allows solar asset managers to calculate an accurate cash flow for existing assets based on an inspection report and optimise their margins and returns.

The operations & maintenance process is facilitated by drone flights, the flights offer insights into the solar asset, and saves the costs of maintenance and inspections.

USE ECONOMIES OF SCALE,
OPTIMISE PORTFOLIOS

ucair has a network of certified pilots all over Germany and can thus offer drone thermography nationwide at fixed prices. This reduces the costs for travelling, data reconciliation, and communication. ucair also offers regular thermographic inspections to ensure that the full potential of the asset is realised. This enables growing portfolios to continuously optimise their earnings potential.

Earnings calculator

EARNINGS CALCULATOR

Do you know how much more money you can earn if you have your solar installation checked?

Enter your system capacity and feed-in tariff and discover how much additional yield potential is hidden within your system.

System capacity:
kWp
Feed-in tariff:
Condition of the system:
normal poor   very poor

Normal: The PV system has some minor technical defects

Poor:The PV system has some significant anomalies that reduce efficiency

Very poor: The PV system has considerable defects, e.g. failed strings

Possible additional annual yield:
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