A Look at Solar Energy Land Surveying in 2018

When it comes to solar energy, efficiency and cost-cutting are extraordinarily important. In a world that is increasingly looking toward clean energy, it becomes even more necessary to reduce the costs associated with placing solar panels, in addition to optimizing the panels that are placed. Many of these things can be achieved through better land surveying processes. In 2018, it’s likely that new technologies will be used to further refine the processes of land surveying related to solar energy. In this post, we will explore how solar energy land surveying is likely to change in 2018.

Solar land surveying will leverage technology for faster and safer results

In the past, solar land surveying often had to be completed manually. Either individuals had to conduct surveys on foot (costly and dangerous) or teams had to be sent out to conduct aerial scans (costly). Both of these methods were limited in some way, with manual surveyors being unable to cross treacherous terrain, and aerial scanning often being both expensive and dangerous.

Today, there’s an answer: UAVs can be used to conduct aerial scans without manned teams and without the associated risks. UAVs can conduct solar land surveying quickly, exploring the entirety of the area without any personal risk to the operator. As UAVs can fly lower to the ground than manned vehicles, they can provide higher resolution scans than would otherwise be available.

Not only does this mean that organizations can get their survey information faster, but also that it is more accurate. More accurate results decrease the chances that the solar organization could run into issues later on.

Companies will embark on more thorough scanning for greater profit

As you probably know, solar panel output is significantly impacted by panel positioning. Not only does the arc of the sun need to be considered, but solar panels need to be placed in a way that they won’t interfere with each other, while also taking up minimal amount of space. It’s often unavoidable that some panels will be disrupted throughout the day; ideally, the setup needs to be constructed to take advantage of the most sun possible. This can involve extraordinarily complex calculations.

Moving forward, simulation and imaging programs will be used to analyze the optimal paths for solar panels, so they can use the least amount of land while yielding the best results throughout the day and the year. A tremendous amount of data will need to be analyzed to determine these optimal solutions, which is becoming possible through machine learning and advanced data analytics.

This process will begin with solar surveying, which will give solar companies large amounts of data regarding the terrain. Modern techniques, such as laser scanning, can create complete digital models of an area so a business can place their solar panels with the best possible positioning. This gets rid of much of the trial and error that would otherwise be required.

An increase of accuracy regarding how solar panels are placed can ultimately lead to some substantial improvements in the efficiency and operation of these solar panels. Accurate 3D scans reduce the amount of time it takes to plan and map an area, while even minute changes in placement could yield significant energy results over time.

Further, by fine-tuning and optimizing placement and orientation, companies will be able to make the best use of their land, avoiding excessive and unnecessary land costs.

Looking Forward

Solar energy land surveying in 2018 is going to become a fine-tuned, data-driven process. With the help of UAV/drone technology and better data analytics, solar energy companies will be able to quickly identify the correct placement of their solar panels and install them with confidence. Ultimately, this will produce more energy at a far lower cost to the business, reducing overhead and improving savings related to solar energy.


Why Use a UAV for Oil and Gas Facility Inspections?

Oil and gas production, transportation, and processing is a high-stakes, high-risk enterprise. It only takes a single mistake to lead to substantial environmental damage — or human injury. Proactive maintenance and repairs are necessary to reduce these risks, protecting employees, the environment, and the business from harm. In this article, we’ll learn about the numerous benefits of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for oil and gas facility inspections.

With UAVs, Inspections Can Be Conducted More Frequently

Conventionally, oil and gas facility inspections have to be done in-person, by an individual or individuals who need to inspect the entirety of the facility. Inspections are done either scheduled or whenever an incident has occurred. This can be prohibitively time-consuming and expensive, forcing oil and gas companies to complete their facility inspections only when required by law.

A major benefit to UAV for oil and gas is that inspections can be conducted more frequently, due to their naturally lower costs. Inspectors do not need to be on-site to use remote devices and they can inspect the entirety of the facility much faster. Faster, more frequent inspections will yield more thorough analysis and results, proactively finding potential issues and resolving them before they can become a safety or environmental hazard.

UAVs Can Respond To Emergencies Quickly

When a leak or spill does occur, it’s imperative that the organization respond quickly to mitigate the damage. Drones can be used to identify and report potential leaks and spills immediately, often able to identify the exact GPS location of the incident. The amount of damage done to the environment often relates directly to how quickly the incident was discovered. Modern UAV’s are also all-weather and can inspect no matter the situation.

UAV Inspections Can Cover Large Facilities Quickly

A UAV for oil and gas can cover a large facility from overhead quickly, rather than having to inspect the area from on the ground. Drones with sensors can “sniff” for potential warning signs, while high-resolution images can be inspected for any potential damage. Since they can go just about anywhere, UAVs ensure that no part of the facility is missed or overlooked, increasing the accuracy and usefulness of facility inspections as they are completed.

UAV Inspections Are Low Risk And Cost-Efficient

UAVs can be used to inspect areas that are potentially hazardous without the risk of injury or loss of life. On-ground inspections may involve environmental hazards, whereas manned aerial craft may experience flight issues and require a large team of staff. Due to this increase in safety and a decrease in necessary personnel, UAV inspections can easily cut costs.

Reducing the risk of damage and environmental hazards will ultimately cost a company much less, both in terms of insurance and damage costs and in terms of public reputation and scrutiny. UAV inspections alone may be able to save an organization a significant amount of money through a reduction in harmful incidents.

UAV Inspections Can Help In Building Customer Faith

There are few things as damaging to an oil and gas company than a poorly handled spill or leak. UAV inspections provide a visible effort that an organization is making towards improving the safety of their employees and the surrounding area. Overall improvements in the oil and gas company’s safety ratings will eventually lead to reduced regulations and more regulatory freedom throughout the industry.


UAV inspections are safe, accessible and cost-effective. Through frequent drone inspections, oil and gas facilities can be kept safer without having to invest in costly or disruptive in-person examinations. Drones provide another layer of safety against potential environmental damage, and they can be integrated with a network of sensors to create an oil and gas facility that can react to its own issues proactively. Through better technology, oil and gas companies will be able to improve the safety of their facilities and focus on optimization and revenue generation.