US software supplier introduces hail detection solution for solar projects


From pv magazine USA

With the utility-scale solar market experiencing a multi-gigawatt surge of development activity across America’s heartland states, insurers are now requiring solar developers to demonstrate mitigation strategies and protocols to address severe hail and extreme weather in new solar states.

A recent pv magazine USA webinar session showed that hail risk mitigation is a common problem in “Hail Alley,” a broad region encompassing around six states from the Dakotas to Texas, which often experience five or more days each year of catastrophic hail. Climate change has created patterns of irregularity as extreme weather increasingly crops up in regions bordering hail-prone regions.

Hail events have historically posed a considerable risk for utility solar, with weather instances creating up to $100 million in module damage at large projects in states like Texas, where hail stones the size of baseballs can pummel skyward facing modules.

Indji Systems, a Los Angeles-based meteorological software, has just launched Indji Watch, a hail detection software-as-a-service platform for solar developers. It allows end users to see and trace hail events using a predictive, real-time data framework. The software system allows stakeholders to implement effective defensive measures and safeguard their investments for the long haul.

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Indji Watch automatically detects early threats and delivers notifications through its dashboard. With updates on potential hail threats delivered up to the time of storm impacts, the weather watch allows companies to actively prepare for significant events, fostering collaboration and coordinated decision-making. By prioritizing “early awareness,” Indji Systems can help mitigate risk by protecting solar sites.

Indji Watch identifies storm paths and their proximity to solar asset footprints as threats become imminent, enabling customers to take defensive measures. The warning allows solar O&M and onsite operators time to “stow,” a term used to angle the solar panels away from oncoming hailstorms to lessen the direct impact and potential damage to the crystalline panels.

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