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Building New Opportunities for Drone Operators in Solar Panel Inspection

The California 2020 Solar Mandate, which takes effect in January, requires homebuilders to install rooftop solar power panels or community solar farms to supply 100% of the required energy for all new residential home builds. Homebuilders can opt to use sustainable materials to mitigate this requirement, but the majority of builders are expected to include solar energy panels in the construction of new homes.

Considering housing starts are expected to exceed 45,000 in California in the next calendar year, this mandate will provide new opportunities for drone operators with the hardware and know-how to complete baseline infrared inspections for these solar assets.

Common solar panel issues, such as cell failure, solder corruption, interconnection failure, and degradation of solar cells, can be identified via aerial infrared inspection. The ability to survey and document these issues is extremely beneficial to installation professionals who will be required to document their workmanship.

Homeowners who depend on these panels to provide a dependable and plentiful energy source can track the efficiency of the panels post-installation in this manner, as well. Finally, insurance carriers who provide coverage for storm related and other damage to this equipment will benefit from baseline drone inspections for pre-incident documentation.

In order to provide inspection and survey for the increasing number of solar assets, many more drone operators with infrared inspection skills and proper equipment will be required in the future. In order to scale these services in California and nation-wide, DroneBase has partnered with FLIR, the leading manufacturer of infrared sensors in the US, to provide discounted infrared inspection training and increased access to thermal imaging drone sensors.

If you're a drone pilot, visit our FLIR ITC page for more information and discounts regarding this program.
If you're a customer interested in solar panel inspections, send us a message at or visit our solar industries page for more information.

Tags: Energy Residential Real Estate Thermal
Shay Roehm
Shay Roehm

Shay Roehm is DroneBase's Senior Business Development Specialist, New Technology Innovations. Her focus includes drone technology integration solutions and services for government and transportation organizations. Shay graduated from Cumberland Law School and has a strong background in licensing, public policy and government contracting. Her interest in technology sprung from litigation experience with DNA evidence in a matter that became the first to be appealed and heard before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding admissibility of this technology. Shay continued her work to implement technology as a contractor with the US Department of Transportation, providing engineering services and programming solutions to transportation organizations. Shay introduced the drone technology integrations to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority via the Office of Extraordinary Innovation, completing the first UAS inspection of assets for that organization. Shay’s current work includes the development of protocols for light rail and transportation asset inspection, Smart City application for UAS, aerial tree canopy study, and inspection of AEC and energy assets. In her work with the DroneBase team, Shay continues to offer the best in drone technology solutions to public and private organizations, and to provide drone operators new opportunities to expand their horizons.


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