Enel Green to optimise the use of drones for solar O&M with AI

Using drones for solar plant O&M. Source: Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (EGPNA)

August 8 (Renewables Now) - Enel Green Power North America Inc (EGPNA) has teamed up with Raptor Maps Inc to co-develop utility-scale solar asset management technologies with the purpose of optimising the field operations and maintenance of solar power plants.

The North American renewables arm of Italian energy major Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Raptor Maps, which has developed a machine-learning/artificial intelligence (AI) software solution for post-inspection analysis. The pair plans to configure this solution, called Raptor Solar, and embed it directly into EGPNA’s drone hardware. This would facilitate the identification of faults at solar plants and thus streamline the detection-to-repair process from days to hours, EGPNA said.

“By combining the new software with the technologies already implemented in our plants, we have the potential to increase efficiency of our inspections, yield more accurate results and work towards developing a more automated inspection process across all of our solar sites,” Rafael Gonzalez, head of EGPNA, explained.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is partly funding the project. It is expected to launch this month and the start will involve all of EGPNA’s solar assets. The company anticipates to be training 30 field workers with this technology by the end of the year.

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