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 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, Catalyst has partnered with FLIR, the leading manufacturer of infrared sensors in the US, to provide discounted infrared inspection training and increased access to thermal sensors. Contact our team for more information regarding this program.