Rare Air

Rare Air

Until recently, drones have been everywhere except the electrical industry. But the market for using these aerial tools — particularly to inspect PV arrays — is looking up.

John Ivey has flown remote-controlled aircraft for nearly four decades. For the most part, he treated it as a hobby — a chance to touch the sky without ever leaving the ground. But that changed a couple years back when he assisted on the development of a solar field along California’s central coast. Inspecting the installation’s countless photovoltaic (PV) panels took time, and much of the work took place on the ground. As an outsider to the industry, though, he started wondering if the

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