Going Solar? Land Surveying Is an Important Early Step

If you’re going to be installing solar, a land survey is an important first step. Land surveys can improve the effectiveness and the safety of your solar installation, thereby making your solar system more efficient and productive. If you want to capture the most from your solar energy installation, solar land surveying can help. 

Build Your Solar Installation Where It Needs to Be

The efficiency of a solar power installation is greatly impacted by the placement of the solar panels. With a land survey, you’ll be able to simulate how sunlight will fall upon the areas the solar panels are positioned in. That’s going to give you a better picture of where you can capture the most energy. 

That doesn’t just mean capturing energy, it also means avoiding potential dead zones. If parts of a solar panel are consistently hidden behind shadow, the solar panel itself can malfunction. For the ideal solar power installation, you want power to fall evenly across the panels, and you want to be able to simulate how the light is going to fall through all seasons.

Light changes depending on both time of day and season, and that’s going to have a significant impact on how effective your solar installation is as a whole.

Identify Potential Issues with Topography through Land Surveying

Before you can place your solar panels, you’re going to need to review the surrounding terrain. A topographic land survey will illustrate the current relief and the amount of change necessary to achieve the greatest result. You will want to locate your panels on the most level piece of land, as leveling land is expensive, and if you level an area that is overly elevated, it will be even more expensive. During a topographic land survey, you can identify the best possible location for your site. 

Make Sure Your Surveys Are Correct

Apart from issues with topography, you also need to make sure that your land surveys themselves are correct. If you have a lot of land, and it’s rural, there’s a chance that your property boundaries need to be confirmed.

With an aerial survey, you can make sure that you’ve set your construction limits along your boundary correctly. This avoids the potential that you could develop land or place solar panels on site without realizing that the land isn’t yours, tangling your business in costly legal challenges.

Use Complex 3D Models to Build Correctly

Apart from deciding where to place your survey, land surveys can also be used to create 3D models of your installation. These 3D models can be used to determine whether the weight of the installation could cause too much load on the ground, or could lead to damaging erosion. 

It can also be used to determine the solar panel impact on the surrounding terrain, which can be useful for environmental surveys — particularly important for extremely large solar panel installations, or installations that are close to protected territories.

Maintain Your Solar Installation After Development

Land surveying isn’t just important during the development stages of your solar panel installation. It’s also important after. You can use periodic drone surveys to detect things that human inspectors wouldn’t be able to do, such as hairline cracks, or overheating panels. You can then maintain or replace these panels before they become a safety hazard. Regular maintenance checks will improve the overall efficiency of your solar panel installation, which will also mean that it will pay for itself much faster. Solar panels that are not well-maintained could eventually lead to safety risks and other hazards.

So if you are you about to install solar panels, consider getting a survey first. A survey can head off many of the risks associated with a solar panel installation, from installing it in the incorrect location, to installing it where it won’t get enough sun, to even maintaining your solar installation. Contact us today to find out more, and to get a quote for a survey


Why Solar Farm Construction Needs Experienced Surveyors

The solar farm construction industry is booming. Anyone with large volumes of land can consider a solar farm installation, either for their own use or to sell back energy to a grid. Business owners are starting to install solar farms, and cooperatives are putting together solar farms to be shared between their properties. But before you start your solar farm construction, it’s absolutely vital to get a survey.

Here’s why. 

What is a Solar Farm Survey?

A solar site survey is going to provide you with extensive topographical data regarding your solar site, so you can plan the solar site correctly. Solar site surveys can be done either on-foot or through aerial surveying, and either way, the surveyor will measure things like the boundaries of the site, existing improvements and the elevation of the land.

Here are the benefits of a site survey for solar installation:

  • You experience increased productivity and efficiency. Topographical information can be used to position your solar panels correctly, to capture the most energy possible. Sun positioning can change seasonally, dependent on different weather conditions and during different times of day. These can all be considered when planning an installation.
  • You can position your solar panels correctly around the environment. You can identify the areas that are least likely to be disrupted by a solar panel array, as well as the areas that are going to be less costly to level. If you’re doing an environmental survey, this may be important. You will also need to take a look at how surrounding features, such as trees or buildings, could impact your solar installation.
  • You are able to remain under budget. You can see issues with your plan ahead of time, and dodge the legal fees associated with potential border disputes. During the solar panel installation, you can use additional surveys to ensure that the panels are being placed properly. This avoids having to move the panels later on.
  • You increase the safety of your solar panel site. Surveys can identify potential issues with the solar panel installation, such as dead zones that could lead to solar panels overheating. After the solar panels have been installed, experienced surveyors can come back for maintenance surveys, to find issues such as cracks and fissures that will need to be repaired.
  • You get 3D data for advanced simulations and assessments. Your 3D data will always be available, both during the pre-construction phase, and if you decide to modify your site in the future. If you want to expand your solar panel site, you can use these 3D simulations. If you want to build something around your solar panel site, you can see how it will impact it.

There are tremendous advantages to a thorough solar farm survey. An experienced surveyor can make this even better. Experienced surveyors improve the survey process from the ground up. 

Why Do You Need Experienced Surveyors?

When it comes to a land survey, you need three things: speed, accuracy, and safety. The faster your survey is completed, the faster you can break ground on your installation. The more accurate it is, the better the solar farm will perform. And, of course, the survey must be completed safely. 

Experienced surveyors can provide all these things. An experienced surveyor will be able to produce your survey without delay and can use technology that will make the process both more accurate and safer. They will be able to identify potential boundary lines quickly, and they will be able to produce topographical data for you in a variety of formats.

Surveyors that collect data as well as process it (end-to-end surveyors) are often the most beneficial. Some surveyors send data out for outside assessment, but this introduces the capacity for errors, as well as potential delays. When data analysis is handled by the same company that collects the data, the potential for issues is far less significant.

How Can You Improve the Safety of Your Solar Farm Survey?

In the past surveys were generally done either on foot or through aerial vehicle. Both can be time-consuming, or even dangerous in certain conditions. But today’s modern surveyors use technology such as LiDAR arrays carried by UAVs. 

UAVs are able to survey a site from the air, with drones that fly close to the ground. With a UAV, a surveyor is able to produce extremely detailed surveys quickly, without any risk to a crew. This is the ideal type of survey for solar farm construction.

If you’re in the solar farm construction industry, you should consider the advantages of experienced surveyors. Contact the experts at Landpoint to discuss.