I n the US, relative newcomer and solar site inspection firm, Scanifly looks like it’s about to take off. It’s solar software app uses both 3D modelling and drones to survey potential sites. Using drones for all sorts of things is now common place. So to have one buzz over your home to help with your next potential solar install, could be coming soon.
The firm has built a software solution that uses drones, and is the first to get approval across the US. Using Scanifly, system designers use real world examples to accurately analyse projects within centimetres. Drones take out all the guess work, so can save up 90% of time spent doing things the “old way”. They record everything about the site, and so there is no climbing on the roof too!
A site survey goes like this.
An operator will fly a drone over the site to capture all its features. This might take about 10 minutes for a home and about 20 minutes for a commercial job.
The imagery is then fed into the Scanifly app which generates to scale, a virtual 3D replica of the site.
Designers are then able to accurately map out and cost the project, and factor in such things as shading, etc.
John Novak the CEO of Scanifly says the firm brings a lower cost, more safe, more accurate solution. This new way of doing things will come to our shores in one form or another. So it will be interesting to see how market leader Nearmap responds.
Right now, Nearmap is the go-to product for solar installers. In the most part, it’s a good solution but some have complained about its cost. This is unfair in some respects, as since its arrived, a lot of time and fuel has been saved. Now, the day of the drone looks to be fast approaching, so change is likely coming with it.
Nearmap might still have the upper hand as some of the image data is already there. No one has to go out and collect it with a drone. It’s unlikely that sending someone out to take image data for a home with a drone will cost less. That said, with commercial sites, the Scanifly idea will produce much better results. So it’s certainly something to watch.