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Category: Solar for commercial

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Why Solar drone thermography?

In the day-to-day management and upkeep of solar power plants, drones have quickly become an indispensable tool. Drones, thermal imaging, and software are used to detect and report module irregularities.

Solar panels can have faults that are easily rectifiable if discovered early. We think it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each thermographic inspection technique so you can select the best option for your solar PV portfolio.

To get you started, we’ve gone over the basics of aerial thermography and the rewards of regular thermographic inspections.

What Drone Thermography Is and How It Works

  • Drones are currently a common tool for thermographic solar plant inspections for many solar PV companies.
  • Drone thermography gives a low-cost, highly accurate, and 100% complete view of a solar power plant, down to a molecular level.
  • This means that manual string measurements and random ground-based thermography are no longer needed to check the electrical integrity of the solar plant.
  • Drones can inspect large PV systems more quickly and give important information using high-resolution thermal technology that can spot changes in heat.
  • Drone thermography is useful throughout the lifetime of a solar power plant.

Drones Reduce Inspection Time

Reduced inspection time is the main reason organizations use drones for solar checks. Thermal inspections can be completed by drones in 10 minutes per MW, whereas manual procedures such as I-V curve tracing need two to five hours / MW.

Drones Reduce Inspection Time
Why Solar drone thermography? 1

Drones can undertake solar inspections at 15 mph, far faster than humans. An experienced drone pilot understands how to picture the PV system from above at the proper shooting angle, time intervals, and speed.


Drone thermography can identify quality, construction, and commissioning issues at an early stage, avoiding early yield and revenue loss.

Pre-commissioning and commissioning

Drone thermography performed at provisional acceptance certification (PAC) gives a complete plan for the engineering, procurement, and construction company (EPC) to address any concerns found as well as a primary prevention standard for all of the modules.

Prior to intermediate (IAC) or final acceptance, a second thermographic check must be performed (FAC).

Operational solar plant

Drone thermography should be performed yearly during long-term operation so that you have a timeline to refer to over the course of the solar plant’s life and can discover performance trends.

Regular thermographic inspections detect problems that may be the cause of a poorly performing solar plant and focus engineering resources on fixing them.

Drones Can Inspect Every Panel

Drones Can Inspect Every Solar Panel
Why Solar drone thermography? 2

It can be overwhelming to evaluate every module quickly and affordably due to the magnitude of solar farms and business rooftop PV systems. Drones offer an alternative that enables solar energy providers to acquire detailed information about their entire Solar panel, even down to the cell level.

Using drone-collected thermographic data for preventative maintenance

Drone thermography enables the move from a reactive maintenance plan to a preventative maintenance strategy. There are important points to think about that influence the quality of the data collected and the way in which it is transformed into legitimate information for your team.

There are two main methods of thermographic and visual data collection.  One is the ‘Orthomosaic Method’ and the other ‘Radiometric Video Method’.

Drones Reduce Costs of Solar Inspections

Many solar firms put off PV system inspections due to expenses. Manual inspections take a lot of time, and the cost of all those man hours adds up.

Additionally, manual checks necessitate a temporary shutdown of the PV system, which results in additional income losses and much lower energy production from undetected defective equipment.

Moreover, there is no need to shut off the power generation because a drone may investigate the location while it is still connected to the grid.

Warranty Claims

If a piece of solar equipment isn’t functioning up to standard, you may need to make a warranty claim. Drones can provide you with the granular level of detail necessary to validate your claim with the warranty company.

With a drone solar inspection, you’re getting more accurate, time-effective, and low-cost information, so you can make sure your panels remain operating at their highest potential.

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Why should you install solar for commercial buildings?

Electricity bills are high for commercial buildings and they are best suitable for solar power. Solstrom solar experts blog about solar for commercial buildings.

10 things to know about photovoltaic (PV) solar panels in India

Electricity bills are High?
EB Bill is giving a shock to your wallet?
Thinking about going solar for your house?

Solar Energy is the cheapest form of Electricity and Get it installed by SOLSTROM – best solar energy company in India from Chennai

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems – also known as solar panel systems, solar energy systems, or solar power systems – convert sunlight into electricity. You can use the electricity generated by your solar PV system to power your home, your business or even your car.

How solar energy works

Solstrom 1. Solar panel systems are a great way for you to save money, no matter what your budget is.

If you can afford to pay your electricity bill every month, you can afford to install a solar panel system. With a $0-down solar loan, solar lease or PPA, you can finance your system and see immediate savings.

Solstrom2. Installing a solar panel system is a great investment.

Investing in a solar panel system can deliver better returns than stocks and bonds – and now is the right time to make that investment. While solar photovoltaic technology is improving incrementally each year, financial incentives and rebates will decrease as solar becomes more popular.

Solstrom 3. Solar photovoltaic systems have been around for a long time.

Solar photovoltaic systems are a well-proven technology first invented in 1954 by scientists at Bell Labs. Today, solar panels are installed on over two million homes in the U.S.

Solstrom4. Solar panel systems are highly durable.

Solar photovoltaic panels are made of tempered glass and can withstand hail, snow, rain, and high winds. They can even extend the life of your roof by protecting it from daily wear and tear.

Solstrom 5. Solar power systems can produce electricity for 25 or more years.

Most solar panel manufacturers offer a 25-year power production warranty guaranteeing that their solar panels will continue to generate electricity at a certain capacity for the warranty’s duration.

Solstrom 6. Solar power systems are practically maintenance-free.

Solar panel systems are incredibly durable. Except in extreme circumstances, they don’t need to be washed or cleaned.

Solstrom 7. Solar panels can be installed almost anywhere in the India.

Most locations in Tamil Nadu and India get enough sunlight to produce sufficient electricity from solar panels. The most important factors to consider when you evaluate your solar panel options are the rates you pay for electricity and the rebates and incentives available to you.

Solstrom 8. Solar energy systems are tied to the electric grid and do not require batteries to store power.

When you install a solar energy system on your property, you remain connected to the electricity grid. At times when your system produces more electricity than you use, you receive credit for the electricity you send to the grid; if you need more electricity than your solar energy system is producing, you can draw it from the grid.

Solstrom 9. Solar power systems can eliminate most of your electricity bill.

With the right planning, your solar panels can generate enough electricity to meet your needs over a 12-month period. As long as you have enough roof space to install the right size solar panel system, the power that your panels will produce will effectively eliminate most of your electricity bill.

Solstrom10. Solar photovoltaic panels can be installed on the roof of your home or commercial property, on the ground or on a solar canopy.

Solar panels can be installed practically anywhere that receives direct sunshine for most of the day and is not shaded by trees or buildings. Panels that face south will produce the most electricity, but your panels can also face east or west.

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Solar Panel Operation & Maintenance (O&M)

Worried about solar panels and Cyclone?

 Fret not, solar panel systems are incredibly durable and require little to no maintenance over their productive lifetime – which can span 25 years or more. In the event that something does go wrong, your solar PV system components have very long warranties that would cover replacement and repair costs. 

solar installed on a rooftop in chennai

Solar panel warranties

Solar panel manufacturers provide a range of warranties that guarantee you will have support and coverage in the unlikely event of an issue, such as hail or falling tree branches.

Power output warranties guarantee that panel performance won’t fall below a specified level over the term of the warranty (usually 25 years). For instance, a manufacturer might provide a warranty to guarantee that peak power output won’t fall below 85 percent for 25 years.

Some manufacturers will also include an additional warranty that promises a higher output level over a shorter period of time. As an example, a secondary warranty might guarantee no less than 90 percent of initial power output for the first 10 years.

Panels typically come with a workmanship warranty that protects consumers against defective panel parts, generally for the first five years of operation. Inverters also come with warranties, usually for 10 years.

Learn more about solar panel warranties and other indicators of quality in Solstrom Guide to Evaluating Solar Panel Quality.

How to maintain your solar panels

Solar panels are made of tempered glass, so they’re built to withstand hail and other rough weather. With the exception of tracking mounts, solar panel systems don’t have movable parts, which cuts down on the possibility of any problems.

Any issues with solar panel performance are usually related to electricity production, which is why most installers recommend monitoring your system’s production. By paying attention to changes in production, you can identify and address issues proactively.

Generally, solar panels don’t need to be cleaned. If you live somewhere where there is a lot of smog, dust, or dirt, you may see a dip in your production over time that can be remedied by cleaning your panels. If your panels are mounted on your roof, however, your best option is to hire a professional cleaning service rather than try to clean them yourself. Your installer will be able to recommend someone local to help you.

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Off Grid Vs On Grid

On-Grid vs. Off-Grid Solar Power Plant.

When it comes to the topic of solar panel installation, you may have heard about the terms grid-tied (a.k.a on-grid) and off-grid solar Power Plant. These two are such important concepts to learn when installing solar power systems.

Depending on your location in India, power requirements and grid availability, you will have to choose which one to install. In this article, we will further elaborate on the differences between these two systems.

What’s the main difference between on-grid & off-grid solar systems?

The simple answer to this is that on-grid / grid-tied solar systems are connected to the main utility power lines called the grid, while off-grid systems are not. An off-grid system may require batteries and, sometimes, a back-up generator; while an on-grid system doesn’t.

In a grid-tied system, there will be a lesser number of components compared to an off-grid one. It’s simply because it does not need an energy storage device, back up generators or complex control electronics.

If you want a cheaper and simpler solar power system, you will go for on-grid system. However, in places where grid power is unstable or not available at all, off-grid solar systems will provide the electricity your appliances need.

Solar Power Plant mounted on solstrom's aluminium single module mounting structure

Top 5 Differences: On-grid Vs. Off-grid Solar Systems

On-Grid Solar Power Plant
  • Connects to utility’s grid for synchronization and operation.
  • Can export excess solar energy to the grid depending on the utility regulations, which requires approvals and documentations.
  • Does not produce solar energy when the grid is down.
  • Lower maintenance and installation costs.
  • A simple system and has less number of components.
Off-Grid Solar System
  • Does not need any connection to the power system’s grid.
  • Uses batteries to store solar energy for later use.
  • Not affected by grid failures and shutdowns.
  • Maintenance and installation costs are more expensive.
  • Can sometimes be complex but you will learn a lot more.

Grid Connected Vs Off Grid solar - Components

On Grid Solar System components

  • Solar Panels.
  • DC Distribution Box DCDB
  • Inverters
  • Module Mounting Structures
  • AC Distribution Box (ACDB)
  • Energy meter
  • AC Circuit breaker at interface point

Off-Grid Solar System components

  • Solar Panels

  • Solar Charge Controllers

  • DC Combiner Box (AJB/DCDB)

  • Batteries

  • Off-Grid/Hybrid Solar Inverters

  • AC Breakers

  • Meters (Optional)

  • Back Up Generators (Optional)


The differences between off-grid and on-grid systems are presented here in this blog post. They both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to cost, user preference, efficiency, and dependability. However, it is up to the homeowner, or whoever is planning to install solar panels, to do an assessment.

You may want to check how to design a solar power system here. We will be adding new tutorials using different kinds of solar PV simulation software. Here are some articles you might want to read: