Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Flying near/over solar voltaic field

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by THG Aviation, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. THG Aviation

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    17
    I need to do a photo shoot in a couple of months that involves flying around and over a sod farm that's been converted to a solar voltaic field. It dawned on me that there might be some electrical interference issues with telemetry as well as onboard systems so I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with this? There's a large transformer and distribution area in one corner of the field but other than that everything seems to be underground. Will probably be flying at 200 to 300 feet and shooting stills. Presume I'll take off 1/4 mile away from the field then fly in at altitude to do the shooting but will 200 to 300 ft agl be high enough to be safe from potential interference?

    Andrew
     
  2. alokbhargava

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,144
    Likes Received:
    1,660
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Why do you think flying over solar photo voltaic cells should be a problem?

    There is no EM generated next to these cells. You might see little noise near the transformer area where DC Is converted to AC but even that should be insignificant at flying heights.
     
    Flyer91 likes this.
  3. Tallyrver

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Tallahassee Fl.
    You should be ok at that height, just keep an eye on your screen fore any errors. Be careful around generator plants. About a year ago while flying my Phantom Fc40 over a damm ,I lost control and almost crashed into the river. I didn't realize at that time hydroelectric generators cause so much interference.
     
  4. nix240z

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    40
    You should be just fine. I have solar and I fly over my array (withing 15ft) on a daily basis and have zero problems.
     
  5. Dirty Bird

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD - USA
    I'd be more concerned about flying above the panels & having your Phantom fried if it gets caught in a concentrated beam of reflected sunlight.

    Matt Vespa - Extra Crispy? California Solar Farm Killed 3,500 Birds

     
    alokbhargava likes this.
  6. alokbhargava

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    5,144
    Likes Received:
    1,660
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Flyer91 and Dirty Bird like this.
  7. theronmalone

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    22
    I was flying yesterday and wanted to do a 90* pic over the solar panels and began to think otherwise like you. I was afraid that it might cause interference and make my quad drop and damage one of those panels. So took one at a different angle, lol.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. robinb

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2,907
    Likes Received:
    503
    Location:
    A place in the sun
    Dont think you will have any problems near the panels but if there are any large transformers or local distribution hubs around stay well away.

    I was quite surprised a month or so ago I tried taking off from a unbuilt development my drone was going nuts anywhere near (50 M) from a local step down transformer, I did not think it was active as they have not built houses but as soon as I powered up, getting calibration and other errors.

    Moved another 1km away then fine.
     
  9. THG Aviation

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    17
    Based on your picture and text and the note that following post this is exactly what I was looking for. Did you notice a transformer pad at this location? That's what I'm most concerned about.

    Thanks
     
  10. theronmalone

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    22
    I didn't notice one, but I wasn't really looking. I was more worried about the panels. Like I said, I got nervous and moved away.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  11. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,922
    Likes Received:
    1,800
    Location:
    Lost Angeles
    You should have no issues over solar panels.
     
  12. robinb

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2,907
    Likes Received:
    503
    Location:
    A place in the sun
    Whats the building to the left centre ?
     
  13. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,750
    Likes Received:
    3,462
    At the distances you mention, the transformer shouldn't give you any worries either.
     
  14. theronmalone

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    22
    Not sure.
     
  15. Flyer91

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    In the Sierras, 17 miles outside Yosemite N. P.
    Today I learned to never read these posts while in the actual act of drinking anything!!
    Now I have to clean the coffee spray off my keyboard ..... ;)
     
  16. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,922
    Likes Received:
    1,800
    Location:
    Lost Angeles
    Unless that building contains a magnetic death ray machine (possible but unlikely) you should be fine.