How Drones Are Helping Bring About Greater Sustainability

Three Lucrative Drone Uses Where Sustainability is Driving Demand

Are you looking for some lucrative industry verticals where you can pitch your drone services? Do you wish to use drones for greater good while you are at it? We have shortlisted three drone uses which can help you do just that.

Drones for Green construction

Enhanced customer awareness pertaining to the advantages of sustainable construction has resulted in more and more organizations and home owners opting to go “Green”. Along with lower energy costs, there are some intangible benefits too — such as better productivity and lower attrition rates.

The size of the U.S. green construction market is pegged at a mammoth $81 billion. In fact LEED certifications in US have grown from 296 to 65,000 for the 2006–2017 time-frame…an annual increase of 2,000%! So, how can a drone pilot be a part of this growing industry? In order to understand where you fit in, it is first important to understand the basics of sustainable construction.

Energy efficiency is, arguably, the most important outcome of sustainable construction. How well a structures scores on this front is dependent on its building envelope. Building envelope comprises of walls, doors, windows, roofs, and skylights of any building. These are the outlets through which thermal energy transfers throughout the day.

Quantifying this thermal resistance allows us to compute the “R-Value” — an accurate indicator of energy efficiency.

In this study, East Tennessee State University used a Phantom 2 equipped with a FLIR infrared camera to identify cold spots and hence calculate the “R-value”. By doing so we can quantify insulation loss and energy cost of inefficiencies.

By getting this data, we can identify gaps between existing components and use higher quality material to make necessary rectifications.

Responsible sourcing of material is another facet of sustainable construction. For instance, the Bardessono hotel in California is one of the only two hotels in the world to receive the highest LEED rating. Their raw material was sourced from the stone of an existing structure. Other sustainable material include recycled wood, metal and sheep’s wool insulation.

Opting to go green entails heavy upfront capital expenditure. But it can save you a LOT in the long run. As per the Center for Green Industries and Sustainable Business Growth, LEED certified buildings show a drop of 13.6% in operating costs. Overall ROI goes up by 9.9%.

Drones for Solar Power Inspections

I was amazed to learn that the total amount of solar energy falling on earth is actually 10,000 times our requirement. You can only imagine what it would mean for our planet if we could figure out a way to harness more solar energy. Sure — installed world capacity has grown tremendously in recent years. We are at 300GW right now. But, as we figure out more efficient ways to harness more solar energy, costs should plummet leading to even greater adoption.

Drones are being put to good use for reducing maintenance costs and increasing power generation. In order to conduct a solar cell inspection, you need a calibrated radiometric thermal camera. Click here to learn about the difference between calibrated and non-calibrated cameras — and why it is such a huge deal.

Using drones for solar cell inspection can allow you to –
· Identify Hot Spots
· Spot unnatural vegetation growth
· Locate activated Bypass cell diodes

Raptor Maps is a popular application for solar cell mapping. Click here to access this report which was produced with Raptor for a solar facility in Japan. The depth of information that can be captured with Raptor Maps is truly mind boggling. Going through the report will instantly make you realize the IMMENSE value that drone technology can provide.

Pix4D is another solution for conducting solar cell inspections. Click here to read this interesting case study which highlights in great detail the data acquisition technique and results produced while inspecting a solar facility in Switzerland.

So, which is the best solution for you — Pix4D or Raptormaps? We recommend comparing the results before jumping to any conclusions. Which solution gives you greater detail and more clear imagery? Which solution is easier to use? Find the answers to these questions to zero in on the right tool for you.

Drones for Delivery — How They Leave Less of a Carbon Footprint

In our previous blog post, “Amazon Drone Delivery — Reality or Distant Dream?” we talked about the current state of drone deliveries in United States. If drones are used for smaller deliveries as opposed to bigger ones, and in states with a greater reliance on clean energy — environmentally (and economically), they would be a better alternative to truck deliveries.

Earlier this year, Amazon was granted a patent for its technology which allowed drones to “read” human gestures and alter behavior accordingly. It remains to be seen if such developments can convince the FAA enough to introduce legislature which will make flying over people and flying BVLOS a possibility — and drone deliveries a reality.

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