Cypress Creek Renewables partners with Raptor Maps for self-operated drone inspections

Raptor Maps, a Boston-based software company focused on helping solar companies adopt drone technology to reduce asset management costs and increase plant production, announced that it has reached an agreement with Cypress Creek Renewables to support their internal UAS team with data-analytics and reports from PV plant inspections. Raptor Maps software will be used by the Cypress Creek UAS team to automate the processing and generate reports on over 300 drone solar inspections to be performed in 2019.

“We realized early on that a robust Aerial Thermography program was something we wanted to pursue. We started scanning sites in 2016 and in early 2017, ordering a fleet of drones and staffing a team of electrical engineers and qualified technicians to lead our Reliability Engineering program. We quickly found that combining technical analysis with boots on the ground resulted in improved facility performance and reduced O&M costs by minimizing truck rolls,” said Kyle Cooper, VP of operations and maintenance at Cypress Creek Renewables.

Cypress Creek Renewables, an integrated solar energy company, has developed one of the leading internal UAS programs for the inspection of PV plants, with over 3 GW of self-performed solar drone inspections since inception. The company has worked with Raptor Maps on a proof-of-concept pilot over the last several months. After successful completion of this 150 MW pilot, they decided to roll-out the Raptor Maps solution on all solar inspections in 2019 and the following years.

“We are very excited to work with Raptor Maps to further develop a platform that pushes our industry-leading Aerial Thermography program to the next level,” Cooper said. “The Raptor Maps team has developed a solution that has added excellent value to Cypress Creek O&M. This partnership allows our Reliability Engineering team to focus on inspections, repairs and analysis and leave the heavy lifting of reviewing thousands of images for anomalies to automation without measurable impacts to accuracy. The partnership will lead to improved report turnaround time, more time devoted to inspections and repairs and most importantly improved facility performance for our customers.”

The software platform automates the review of the tens of thousands of infrared (thermal) and high-definition (digital color) images captured during a solar farm inspection, identifying and localizing DC-health and environmental anomalies impacting plant performance. Analytics generated from the inspection are delivered inside the Raptor Maps web-based software platform. Specifics are provided on the exact location of each anomaly following internal naming conventions, each anomaly’s effect on plant production and prioritization of all issues for streamlined decision making regarding the further investigation in the field. Software modifications were made by Raptor Maps with input from the Cypress Creek UAS team to ensure all reporting met the organization’s internal requirements. Final inspection results can be downloaded locally as a final report in several formats or can be viewed online by anyone involved with the PV asset.

Raptor Maps has developed its data analytics and reporting software platform over the past three years. The company analyzed and delivered reports on over 4 GW of solar PV in 2018.

“We are proud to support Cypress Creek Renewables,” said Nikhil Vadhavkar, Raptor Maps’ CEO. “They run a highly professional operation and are focused on scalability while simultaneously increasing quality. The CCR team shares our vision for enterprise software that increases production, enables data-driven decision making and is compatible with its IT ecosystem.”

News item from Austin Coffin/Raptor Maps

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