Hyderabad: India is going the solar way as the nation realises the potential of renewable energy to reduce dependency on conventional fuel-based power generation. However, it has become critical to monitor the installed solar systems to get the desired electricity output. To address the gap in monitoring and getting real-time data of projects, drones are becoming an obvious choice. Sensing this, T-Hub incubated startup Marut Drones is working with several surveying and inspection companies to provide drone-as-a-service.
With the help of its partner companies, Marut Drones has taken up inspections at over 1,700 MW of installations across India, since its inception last year. Marut Drones has created a solar division to cater to the needs of the solar sector.
Prem Kumar Vislawath, founder and CEO, Marut Drones, told Telangana Today, “We believe, by deploying drones, we can locate installation errors & broken panels, resolve generation problems at the project site and help get useful data in the matters of module warranty and insurance claims. Manual inspection is not only time consuming but also prone to human errors. Around the world, drones are bringing in transformation with their superior capabilities and in India there has been an increasing demand over the pats one year.”
Explaining how drone surveillance and inspection works, Prem said, “The drone technicians carry out aerial thermography at the site using drones, then detailed thermal signature analysis is done by research professionals and a final plant performance report is prepared indicating photo voltaic module faults across the plant layout with expert recommendations on action to be taken in future. Fault data can be categorised into ‘very critical’, ‘critical’ and ‘less critical’ to help the end-user of data take prioritised follow-up.”
Inspection companies, which were carrying out their activity manually for solar companies earlier, are now working with Marut Drones for customising inspections and data analytics offering drone-as-a-service solution.
With the help of drones, complete data is being procured by Marut within just three days from the site and data is processed in about two weeks’ time. Manual inspections have taken more time. Marut is partnering with local companies in each State to provide quick turnaround.
In the next 1-2 years, Marut, which is mentored by Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH) and IIIT Hyderabad, plans to tap opportunities in the government sector as well as large size solar parks that are installed across the country. “We are going to begin talks with Telangana New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation (TSREDCO) soon,” he informed.