Raptor Maps Closes Investment to Boost Solar Farm Output and Improve Project Finance

Raptor Maps Closes Investment to Boost Solar Farm Output and Improve Project Finance

Source: Swinerton Renewable Energy, https://www.instagram.com/p/BvHRvMLHv_L/

Blue Bear Capital leads the round, with support from Congruent Ventures and Powerhouse Ventures, to support growing demand for Raptor Maps software.

 

 

Raptor Maps, the global leader in aerial inspection software for PV systems, announced a new round of funding from veteran energy investors. The round was led by Blue Bear Capital, specializing in data-led energy investments, with participation from Congruent Ventures and Powerhouse Ventures, and previous investor Y Combinator.

“Raptor Maps is impressive because the team provides immediate value to solar portfolios while laying the digital groundwork for true predictive analytics,” explained Ernst Sack, Managing Partner of Blue Bear Capital. “Solar owners and operators are leveraging Raptor Maps analytics to increase project revenues by 2% above baseline, and reduce costs for required inspections by over 50%. Simultaneously, Raptor Maps is compatible with enterprise software and used by data scientists to de-risk portfolios, carefully track degradation, and inform future projects.”
The company makes software to build geospatial, digital models of photovoltaic (PV) system asset health. In the past year, Raptor Maps has analyzed over 25 million solar panels in 21 countries across 6,000 MW. Uses include PV system inspection and verification, due diligence, commissioning, and construction site installation progression. Data is captured aerially by FLIR infrared cameras, operated by Raptor Maps customers or local providers under stringent requirements, and analyzed using machine learning. Every finding is presented with original data to enable audits from clients and independent engineers.
“The reason Raptor Maps has gained so much traction is that we’re built on software excellence and data transparency,” explains Nikhil Vadhavkar, co-founder and CEO. “Companies like Enel Green Power, Cypress Creek Renewables, and Swinerton Renewable Energy recognize that they don’t have to compromise between immediate actionability, client-facing deliverables, and long-term digital initiatives.”
Raptor Maps currently provides a variety of analyses, including the ability for solar customers to meet the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Specifications for PV system thermography. The company intends to use its funding to expand its global presence and roll out new features and products, such as iOS and Android mobile applications for field technicians and portfolio-level tools to optimize project finance.

 

About Blue Bear Capital:

Blue Bear is a venture capital and growth equity firm driving digital technologies into multi-billion-dollar verticals across the energy industry. The team comes together from leading energy private equity firms and features technology expertise from the tech startup world alongside operational leadership from the NASA astronaut corps. Blue Bear’s portfolio covers AI, IoT, and cyber security technologies, all deployed with leading enterprise customers as they improve the economics of wind, solar, and storage while driving efficiencies across the global energy supply chain. www.bluebearcap.com

 

About Congruent Ventures:

Congruent Ventures is an early stage venture fund which partners with entrepreneurs to build companies addressing sustainability challenges. The fund invests early across the spectrum of hardware, software, enterprise, consumer, deep technology, fin-tech, and business model innovation.  Investment themes include Urbanization and Mobility trends, the Clean Energy Transition, Food and Agriculture, and Industrial and Supply Chain innovation. Congruent’s unique model and long-term investor base allows us to invest early and provide ongoing support to teams enabling them to move the needle on critical sustainability challenges. www.congruentvc.com

About Powerhouse Ventures:

Powerhouse Ventures backs early-stage startups building solutions to enable an energy system that is decarbonized, decentralized, democratized, and digitized. Powerhouse backs entrepreneurs harnessing the latest in digital technology and business model innovation to advance software-enabled, distributed, and renewable energy in domestic and international markets. https://powerhouse.fund

 

 

For more information on the Raptor Maps software platform please click here or fill out our Contact US form on this page.

       

© 2019 Raptor Maps, Inc.

info@raptormaps.com

444 Somerville Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143

Raptor Maps and senseFly Partner to Deliver Best In Class Thermal Drone Inspection Solution

Raptor Maps and senseFly Partner to Deliver Best In Class Thermal Drone Inspection Solution

Source: Swinerton Renewable Energy, https://www.instagram.com/p/BvHRvMLHv_L/

senseFly introduces the Solar 360 thermal drone solution with Raptor Maps for uniquely efficient solar farm inspections

 

We’re excited to announce that Raptor Maps, a Boston-based enterprise software company, has partnered with the Swiss-based drone provider senseFLY on the new senseFLY Solar 360. The collaboration between the two companies brings artificial intelligence solar software to industry-leading fixed wing drones. The automated thermal drone solution, combined with Raptor Maps’ software, is designed to maximize efficiency of solar farm inspections.

Created by combining eBee X fixed-wing drone technology, senseFly’s Duet T thermal mapping camera, and Raptor Maps’ software, senseFly Solar 360 is a fast and fully-automated solution. It is easily integrated into solar management workflows without requiring either drone piloting skills or the manual analysis of aerial solar farm data.

“At senseFly we are continually looking across the industry to identify new commercial partners with whom we can bring to market what our customers need, which is vertically-focused end-to-end solutions,” said Gilles Labossière, CEO of senseFly. “With Raptor Maps, we are collaborating with a true solar industry pioneer. Their software takes the guesswork out of solar farm inspection and, crucially, speeds up this process — from days down to hours. This efficiency, combined with the eBee X’s large coverage and reliability, ensures that farm owners and operators — or the drone service providers they employ — can inspect utility-scale solar farms more quickly, easily, and accurately than ever before.”

 

 “Solar power is the largest source of new energy generation in the world,” said Nikhil Vadhavkar, CEO of Raptor Maps. “This rapid growth has fueled demand for industry-specific solutions to allow solar customers to scale. Our enterprise-grade software has been deployed across six continents and 25 million solar panels to increase power production and reduce risk and maintenance cost across solar portfolios. We are proud to collaborate with senseFly, the industry leaders in commercial fixed-wing drones, to increase access to Raptor Maps while providing a comprehensive, end-to-end solution that scales with the solar industry.”

If you’d like to read the entire press release, it can be found here, https://www.sensefly.com/2019/04/30/sensefly-introduces-solar-360-thermal-drone-solution/. 

 

 

For more information on the Raptor Maps software platform please click here or fill out our Contact US form on this page.

       

© 2019 Raptor Maps, Inc.

info@raptormaps.com

444 Somerville Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143

Major Solar Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Provider SOLV, Inc., a Swinerton Company, Selects Raptor Maps as its Partner for Nationwide Drone Inspections

Major Solar Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Provider SOLV, Inc., a Swinerton Company, Selects Raptor Maps as its Partner for Nationwide Drone Inspections

Source: Swinerton Renewable Energy, https://www.instagram.com/p/BvHRvMLHv_L/

SOLV will use Raptor Maps’ industry-leading AI analytics and reporting software for all PV plant drone inspections performed by the SOLV team

Raptor Maps, a Boston-based software company focused on helping enterprise solar companies adopt drone technology to reduce asset management costs and increase plant production, is proud to announce that it has been chosen to support SOLVs drone operations in regards to post-processing and reporting on PV plant inspections. Raptor Maps software will be used for all commercial, industrial, and utility-scale solar installations managed by the SOLV team across the US, totaling over 4 GW of solar PV assets.

“Aerial thermography has become a valuable tool in SOLV’s offering as a solar O&M provider to maximize DC health.  The ability to perform these inspections internally makes us more efficient and allows us to scale operations, passing those savings on to our clients.  A major challenge of aerial thermography is how to process and generate reports once a site has been inspected. SOLV evaluated a dozen companies that provide drone inspection imagery data processing and report generation and found Raptor Maps to be the best solution in the market for our specific needs.  Raptor Maps enables us to quickly and effectively perform the drone inspection, can support our wide range of sites under management, and provides clear and actionable reports for our field team on what items need to be fixed versus monitored,” said Reegan Moen, Business Development Manager of SOLV, Inc., a Swinerton company.

SOLV has consistently been named the number one service provider in the global solar operations & maintenance (O&M) market by GTM Research and SOLICHAMBA. SOLV has already been using Raptor Maps’ software over the last 12 months to process, manage, and report on the aerial thermography inspections of more than 50 PV plants.

The software platform automates the review of the tens of thousands of infrared (thermal) and high-definition color images captured during a drone 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, with specifics provided on the exact location of each anomaly following existing location tags, each anomaly’s impact on energy production, and a prioritization of all issues for streamlined decision making regarding further investigation in the field.

As SOLV looks to further roll out drone inspections, they will be utilizing Raptor Maps to analyze and report on all PV plant inspections performed in 2019. They will also be collaborating with Raptor Maps to explore software integrations between the Raptor Maps platform and enterprise asset management and monitoring tools used internally.

“SOLV is laser-focused on increasing the bottom line for its renewable energy clients,” said Nikhil Vadhavkar, Raptor Maps’ CEO. “We are delighted to support their in-house performance experts with state-of-the-art software to maximize energy production and minimize risk.”

About Raptor Maps

Raptor Maps provides software for artificial intelligence and PV system analytics, and has built the most enterprise-friendly data model in the industry. The company analyzed more than 4,000 MW (4 GW) of PV systems in 2018 across 6 continents. Its analytics are in compliance with both asset owner requirements and infrared thermography standards. The company is headquartered in Boston, MA USA and founded by MIT engineers. For more information about Raptor Maps, please visit www.raptormaps.com.

About Swinerton Renewable Energy

Swinerton Renewable Energy (SRE) offers engineering, procurement, construction, and SOLV® O&M services for solar photovoltaic plants throughout North America to a diverse range of clients. Over 130 years of building landmark projects, Swinerton has forged a reputation for unsurpassed safety, workmanship, on-time delivery, and customer satisfaction. Today, our team takes pride in building cost-effective solar systems that will generate reliable, clean power for many years to come. SRE has delivered over 3.5 GW solar projects and our SOLV team manages over 5GW of PV plants. Learn more about Swinerton Renewable Energy at swinertonrenewable.com.

For more information on the Raptor Maps software platform please click here or fill out our Contact US form on this page.

       

© 2019 Raptor Maps, Inc.

info@raptormaps.com

444 Somerville Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143

How to Inspect a Solar Farm FASTER

How to Inspect a Solar Farm FASTER

How to Reduce Your Drone Solar Farm Inspection Time & Costs by 75%

This is the first of several articles posted in a series to help you understand how to successfully inspect a solar farm with a drone and thermal camera. The goal of this specific post is to clarify how to reduce your drone solar inspection and flight time by more than 75%* by adjusting the sidelap (lateral overlap) of your drone flight to 20%.

Time is money. The more time you spend working on something (drone inspection) the more expensive that task becomes. There are also only so many hours in the day. The longer a specific task (drone inspection) takes to complete the more days you will have to spend working on that task before it is successfully completed.

Over the last 12 months Raptor Maps has helped UAV (drone) pilots inspect over 500 PV sites. For each inspection the goal was to;

  • #1 Capture the highest quality data (imagery),
  • #2 Perform the inspection in the least amount of time so the pilot can move on to the next scheduled solar farm inspection that day/week
  • #3 Deliver a final report to the client that includes all identified anomalies with locations and images of each anomaly

Because our focus is high quality data and to cover as much ground in a single flight as possible, we have come to the conclusion that a solar farm inspection should not be performed as a thermal mapping mission.

Why? Because thermal maps (orthomosaics) require extremely large amounts of data to be collected, hundreds of thousands of images in most cases. This type of data takes a very long time to collect and is low quality. Additionally, the software programs used to create thermal maps do not have a 100% success rate. On average the software will fail to produce a usable thermal map 20-30% of the time. Why waste your time and money on something that is not a quality product and may not even result in a successful end result?

To reduce your inspection flight times, and collect the highest quality imagery, you should adjust your sidelap (lateral overlap) to 20% and abandon the idea of creating a thermal map. This will allow you to reduce your drone PV inspection time by 75% and produce higher quality reports and deliverables with both radiometric thermal and high-definition visual spectrum imagery of the solar site inspected.

The goal of every aerial PV system inspection is to identify the condition of the system and potential issues that are currently unknown. You do not need to make a thermal map to correctly identify and accurately localize the PV system anomalies that are affecting performance. Instead of relying on an low quality thermal map to find anomalies, image-based post-processing software solutions like Raptor Maps can be used instead. These software solutions can  process this smaller, faster-to-collect dataset (imagery) and identify, classify, and localize all solar farm anomalies. Additionally this dataset will always create a valuable and usable final deliverable 100% of the time.

By reducing your sidelap (lateral overlap) down to 20% you can increase the amount of PV plant you are able to inspect by 400%. You can now inspect an entire solar farm in 1 day that used to take 4 days. You can now inspect 4 PV systems in 1 day (when they are close to each other) instead of the project taking 4 days. This small adjustment to your solar farm inspection flight plan will greatly increase your ROI.

If you would like to learn more about how to inspect a solar farm in the least amount of time please contact us HERE or email us directly through info@raptormaps.com. We can also help you learn more about our software that converts your inspection imagery into final reports that are accurate and easy to use for asset management and maintenance.

*This number is based on the comparison of 80/20 overlap in your thermal flight plan to the industry standard 85/85 overlap of a thermal mapping flight plan.

 

       

© 2019 Raptor Maps, Inc.

info@raptormaps.com

444 Somerville Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143

Solar Software Industry Leaders Raptor Maps will Support Cypress Creek Renewables’ Self-Operated Drone Inspections

Solar Software Industry Leaders Raptor Maps will Support Cypress Creek Renewables’ Self-Operated Drone Inspections

Raptor Maps, a Boston-based software company focused on helping enterprise solar companies adopt drone technology to reduce asset management costs and increase plant production, is excited to announce that it has reached an agreement with one of the US’ leading solar companies, 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, Vice President of Operations and Maintenance of Cypress Creek Renewables.

Cypress Creek Renewables, one of the largest integrated solar energy companies in the U.S. 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.  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,” said Kyle Cooper.

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, with specifics provided on the exact location of each anomaly following internal naming conventions, each anomaly’s affect on plant production, and a prioritization of all issues for streamlined decision making regarding 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 organizations 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  it’s industry-leading data analytics and reporting software platform over the past 3 years. The company analyzed and delivered reports on over 4 GW of solar PV in 2018. Raptor Maps is excited to support the Cypress Creek UAS team with their internal drone operations and share it’s experience with the team to help them reduce costs and increase efficiencies.

“We are proud to support Cypress Creek Renewables,” explains 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.”

About Raptor Maps

Raptor Maps provides software for artificial intelligence and PV system analytics, and has built the most enterprise-friendly data model in the industry. The company analyzed more than 4,000 MW (4 GW) of PV systems in 2018 across 6 continents. Its analytics are in compliance with both asset owner requirements and infrared thermography standards. The company is headquartered in Boston, MA USA and founded by MIT engineers. For more information about Raptor Maps, please visit www.raptormaps.com.

About Cypress Creek Renewables

Cypress Creek believes solar makes the world cleaner and healthier. Our team successfully develops, builds and operates solar facilities across the United States. With more than 3 gigawatts of solar deployed in more than a dozen states, Cypress Creek Renewables is one of the country’s leading solar companies. For more information about Cypress Creek Renewables, please visit www.ccrenew.com.

For more information on the Raptor Maps software platform please click here or fill out our Contact US form on this page.

       

© 2019 Raptor Maps, Inc.

info@raptormaps.com

444 Somerville Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143