• ajoc262

This was no regular thermal survey....

Thermal inspections are carried out all the time these days and are by no means new to the 'built environment'. Add a drone to the mix and it becomes a bit more interesting.

Add a lightweight, carbon fibre pole to the drone, well then it just becomes a big old problem solver.

The building in question is in a town centre location and has a small section of solar panels that are on the south facing elevation. The client requested a roof inspection and solar panel inspection with thermal camera to check over the installation and confirm any panel failures or inefficiencies.

However, based on the size of the drone involved and current regulations, we had a problem with 'uninvolved people'. The regs state that we can not fly within 50meters of uninvolved people and as the property was quite close to a supermarket this did pose a bit of an issue.

So what was the solution? Richard Sims or SIMS UAV has developed a simple contraption (ugh i sound like my grandad) where the drone is clamped to a carbon fibre telescopic pole with a base plate. The pole can be extended from the ground allowing all the power of the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced drone with its high resolution thermal camera to be used when the separation distance are just not enough.

The job was completed and highlighted three areas of concern with one panel looking like it was damaged beyond repair. The client now had the information required to go off and carry out the works needed.


I can't help think about the future implications of this. Yes the solution is a little 'Heath Robinson', but in a world of 'net zero', reduced carbon output and increased installation of solar panels, don't they need to be checked regularly and inspected to ensure efficiency?

This solution is quick and safe and high resolution and is 100% an area of service I will be looking to increase.


I would be really interested to hear what you think about this and would love to talk to you if you believe that it could help you and your business. Contact me here






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