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Understanding airplanes vs drones in aerial inspection

In this pv magazine Webinar, we will show a detailed comparative analysis of airplanes and drones. In addition, we will discuss upcoming crewed aircraft flight routes in Europe for aircraft inspections and how joining pre-planned routes can deliver cost savings.


Solar PV sites are increasingly benefitting from aerial data-collection technology that can rapidly detect issues and monitor PV systems large and small. Data collection is boosted by sophisticated data processing, analytics, and reporting, and regular reports build up a database of knowledge for owners and operators to track ongoing performance showing the ongoing changes on a site over set time periods.

And while the solar industry has a solid appreciation for drones, crewed aircraft provide a compelling case for aerial inspections as well, including for initial site surveys for a single or multiple large scale prospective projects, pre-construction planning, construction monitoring, semi-annual inspections for portfolios of large and wide-spread assets and more.

But when do aerial inspections by plane or by drone make the most sense, and where are they  ? Which delivers the best data for O&M, for owners looking to understand performance and baselines, and which is more cost effective — and are these even the right questions to ask?

Zeitview, our initiative partner for this webinar, will show a detailed comparative analysis of airplanes and drones, with Thomas Amsüss from Zeitview presenting a run-down of details, data, benefits, and live demos of the Zeitview platform. In addition, Amsüss will discuss upcoming crewed aircraft flight routes in Europe, focusing on Italy and Spain, for aircraft inspections and how joining pre-planned routes can deliver cost savings.

Zeitview’s solar data and analytics platform can be used to address challenges of O&M, and will show real comprehensive data from operating plants throughout the US. We’ll see views of well performing and less performant plants, along with strategic insights and tools for delivering world-class O&M by focusing on big wins.

pv magazine Webinar content:

  • Introduction to aerial inspections and where airplanes and drones are best performed, the data returned and examples from the North American Solar Scan
  • Scenarios detailing which aircraft is best for when accounting for a variety of factors and requirements
  • Cost comparisons based on different scenarios
  • A live demo of the Zeitview platform
  • Details of routes in Spain and Italy
  • Strategies and tools to help solar asset owners, operators, and O&Ms
  • Q&A

Questions can be submitted beforehand or during the webinar through a chat window. Tristan Rayner, editor at pv magazine, will be the moderator of this webinar.

Registration for this pv magazine Webinar is free of charge.


Thomas Amsüss | Business Development Manager, Zeitview

Thomas has been on the Business Development Team at Zeitview for over 4 years, engaging primarily with our European and Latin American clients. Thomas has an IMBA from Schulich School of Business and is fluent in English, German, and Spanish.


Tristan Rayner | Editor, pv magazine

After studying Electrical Engineering, Tristan Rayner turned his attention to editorial roles. Prior to joining pv magazine in 2020, he was managing editor and founding editor of culture, tech and sport publications in Australia, and later contributed to publications including Android Authority, AFP, ZDNet, and YouTube channel The Friday Checkout, among other roles.

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