At A Glance
- The client needed to assess the health of 2.5 mn PV modules spread out over a 1,000 hectare site
- Drone thermography and analytics identified over 15,000 defects
- Rectification of anomalies resulted in savings of $9,000 per day
One of the leading Solar Developers in India was grappling with a critical challenge – how could they assess the health of over 2.5 million solar panels and improve generation at their 700 MW plant efficiently? The developer wanted to identify defective panels that were causing power losses, quickly. Even a 1% power loss in such a large plant results in over $750,000 of lost revenues, annually.
The conventional handheld method of thermography would have required close to 3000 man days to complete, making it an unfeasible option. The company, therefore, approached SenseHawk for a drone based solution that will simplify the identification and rectification of defective solar panels.
SenseHawk’s drone based solution involved scanning the entire site with IR-equipped drone flights, over a period of 2 weeks. The IR imagery was used to construct detailed thermal maps of the site. SenseHawk’s proprietary ML-based algorithm identified and classified defects based on severity and probable cause.
These defects were mapped against a “Digital Twin” of the site, created using the as-built CAD drawing of the project. In this way, two outputs were generated:
- Interactive map based reports, viewable on the SenseHawk desktop as well as mobile app
- CSV and PDF reports containing hotspot locations, string numbers, temperature deltas and classification
The scan identified over 15,000 defects, estimated to cause ~$2200 of lost production per day. The client used the SenseHawk mobile application to create tickets, and verify and fix on field, all critical anomalies.
Using SenseHawk’s classification system, and temperature deltas assigned to individual issues, the asset manager was easily able to organize and prioritize thermal defects. Tasks were created using detailed checklist templates (customized for each defect type) and assigned to field engineers for immediate remediation. This entire exercise resulted in over 1% improvement in plant generation, with a payback period of less than 60 days.
If you are interested in knowing more about SenseHawk’s digital tools for asset management activities, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.