How Solar Energy Projects Benefit From 3D Laser Scanning Technology

As more and more people continue to show an interest in renewable energy projects, solar has emerged as one option that provides many of the benefits people look for in such technology. However, in addition to being safe and clean, solar energy must also be affordable. This is why running the most efficient, cost-effective solar construction project possible is so important. In this post, we’ll examine how 3D laser scanning technology can play a key role in helping solar energy projects live up to their fullest potential.

What Is 3D Laser Scanning?

In 3D laser scanning, a surveyor uses a scanner to emit a series of lasers toward a building or area of terrain. Once the laser points bounce off the feature being scanned, the scanner tracks their flight paths as they return. Data about these flight paths is then consolidated into a point cloud, which can, in turn, be used to create an extremely detailed 3D model of the scan.

How Can 3D Laser Scanning Technology Benefit Solar Energy Projects?

While there are a variety of industries that could benefit from applying 3D laser scanning practices, there are also some benefits that make 3D laser scanning a good fit for solar projects specifically. A few examples of these benefits include:

  • Supporting solar projects at scale by surveying large areas quickly
  • Identifying proper positioning for solar installations
  • Quick, detailed and accurate results

Surveying Large Areas Quickly

The larger a solar project is, the more effective and cost-efficient it has the potential to be. Larger solar energy projects can take advantage of a number of cost benefits, including economies of scale, repeatable processes, and consolidated permitting.

While the cost benefits of larger solar projects may be clear, the tradeoff is that they require larger areas to be surveyed, which in turn slows down the project and makes it more difficult to begin seeing a return. 3D laser scanning technology empowers solar companies to complete these large surveys in a reasonable amount of time.

Identifying Proper Positioning

Finding the ideal spot for a potential solar installation is another important factor in ensuring a successful deployment. For one, it’s important to select an area that isn’t overly shady, as this shade can interfere with the project’s ability to collect as much energy as possible. In addition, selecting an area when work can begin immediately, without the need to remove trees or brush, can help streamline the project process and accelerate profits.

Building a detailed 3D model based on data gathered from laser scanning can give you the insights you need to make informed decisions regarding the positioning of your solar project.

Quick, Detailed and Accurate Results

For many solar projects, the land surveying portion of the project is looked at as a necessary evil. The project leaders would prefer to finish it as quickly as possible so that they can move forward with actually making a return on their investment. However, it’s important that the results of the surveying also be very detailed and accurate, as failing to meet this standard could interfere with the project’s ability to be as successful as possible.

This is part of what makes 3D laser scanning so ideal for solar projects. Land surveyors can complete their work significantly quicker than they could using traditional surveying methods. At the same time, this speed does not prevent them from turning out high-quality results that can support more informed decision making.

Contact Landpoint to learn more about 3D laser scanning for solar energy projects.


Satellite Versus UAV Mapping: How Are They Different?

The cornerstone of any successful development is starting out with a good assessment of current site conditions. In order to initiate the assessment that your project requires, it’s essential that you understand the different technology that is available to help you gather the needed information.

This is particularly true when it comes to satellite mapping and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) mapping. Of course, these technologies are alike in the fact that they both support mapping functions. However, if you’ve only heard about these two technologies in passing, you may be confused about how they differ from one another and which one might be right for the needs of your project. This post aims to clear up some of this confusion by providing a closer look at both satellite mapping and UAV mapping.

First of all, it’s important to make the distinction that satellite mapping and UAV mapping are not competing technologies. Rather, they are complementary technologies, in the sense that each can do something that the other can’t. This is why it’s so important to understand the differences between the two if you’re going to make an educated decision about which one best meets your needs.

About Satellite Mapping: The Wide Eye In The Sky

It may help to think about different mapping technologies on a spectrum: the further away from the Earth the technology operates, the wider coverage it can provide. However, this wider coverage comes with tradeoffs, in the form of a much lower level of detail and a view that can often be blocked by clouds or other obstacles.

On one end of this spectrum is satellite mapping technology. By definition, satellite mapping technology operates at a plane that is further away from the Earth than any other technology. As a result, satellite mapping provides a level of coverage that is much higher than that offered by any other mapping technology. However, the images gathered using satellite technology are typically very low in resolution, and so may not be useful for projects that require a very high level of detail and accuracy. In addition, the high costs of taking advantage of satellite mapping technology may make it a bad fit for all but the very largest projects.

About UAV Mapping: Filling In The Gap

Several layers down on the spectrum of land surveying technologies is where you will find UAV mapping. As a relatively new surveying technology, UAV mapping fills in an important gap that has existed for decades. This is because UAVs can operate at a much higher altitude than traditional land-based surveying techniques, while of course operating on a much lower level than satellite mapping.

When land surveyors started taking advantage of UAV technology, they opened up a whole new set of possibilities. UAVs provide a level of detail that is comparable to that which can be achieved using land-based surveyors, but is much quicker and safer, and can, therefore, make it easier to begin seeing a return on a project. In addition, UAVs are relatively affordable to use, making them a good fit for many types of projects. Since they are so much closer to the ground than satellites are, they can also provide a much higher level of detail and accuracy.

As this post illustrates, choosing the right land surveying technology for your project is essential to achieving the results you’re looking for. To learn more about how to select the technology that’s right for you, contact us at Landpoint today.