Have you ever thought of how a drone can help project stakeholders make better decisions?
At Energy Canvas, our field services division supports projects by integrating the use of drones into our service offerings. Based on our experience working with developers, drones are useful for providing us with information on perspective and access.
There is a good reason the phrase “a birds-eye-view” is popular for getting a fresh perspective on something: getting up above a forest, hill, or even an open field, brings much more than height, it often delivers increased and fresh context. Within renewables development, as well as operational projects, drone footage can provide simple and complex work products that bring additional detail and fresh perspectives.
Videos and photos captured on-site help bring a consistent frame of reference for decision-makers, both local and abroad. We find a lot of value in employing drones during site investigations, particularly in areas where ground access is difficult or impractical, such as heavily forested areas or roads that have been previously decommissioned. For example, without needing to explore an area by foot or driving, we can save time and, in cases of remote and/or heavily forested areas, eliminate safety concerns while obtaining information about site conditions and characteristics.
Below, we share a list of values drone videos and/or photos can offer for renewable project developers.
- Crop damage estimation: a bird’s eye view of the project site (especially ones that are situated on or close to farmland) can help quantify the amount of crop damage that may have resulted from activities during installation work.
- Post-installation inspection: for any inspection work that does not require physical handling of equipment, the use of drones can eliminate the hassle of climbing up a tower that can often be well over 100 metres above ground level.
- Forest clearing requirements: for project sites that are on forested land, tree clearing is required to ensure adequate access as well as safety. A drone can help determine the amount of distance that requires clearing activities, as well as additional information that forestry companies may find helpful, such as tree type and typical tree heights on merchantable timber.
- Path building requirements: for project sites that are in remote areas, a drone can help estimate the amount of work that needs to be done to build access paths. This may involve identifying where major roads stop and reach a dead-end or any roads that have not been maintained and hence may have tree/shrub overgrowth, encroaching on existing roads or paths.
- Terrain analysis: Drones are often employed nowadays for high-quality terrain data taken by LiDAR.
- Thermal cameras: This is increasingly useful for identifying power flow, potential wildlife in the area, solar module performance issues, and much more.
We have found drones to be great tools that bring cost-effective information to decision-makers, and we hope we can help you to realise the fresh perspectives they bring.