A while ago, Robert Kröni & Oliver Montalvo from Energie Netzwerk performed a thermal scan of an exceptional solar plant – the Muttsee Dam in Switzerland – and requested Sitemark to process the acquired data. Intrigued by the panels’ location and almost vertical orientation, we accepted the challenge.
Muttsee is a reservoir in the Canton of Glarus, Switzerland, with a surface area of 42 ha. It was built in 2016 and is a critical element of the Limmern pumped storage plant.
In 2020, Axpo received permission to build a 2.2 MW solar farm that will supply 3.3 GWh annually – half of it in winter.
Axpo installed almost 5,000 photovoltaic panels on the containment wall of the artificial basin, which is 2,500 meters above sea level. It produces about 50% more power than a similar facility in the Swiss midlands as it benefits from reflections off the snow and its location above the fog.
The unique location of this solar plant has a set of challenges when it comes to constructing & maintaining the solar farm; material can only be transported by helicopter, and accessing the dam takes approximately 2.5 hours on foot or through the caverns.
Another challenge is the weather, as it is difficult to predict due to very local conditions, and even the weather service often fails to predict the weather correctly. But to perform a thermal scan, the weather must be optimal, and the irradiance must be high enough.
You must also consider that as the air is much thinner, batteries are depleted faster, reducing the effective flight time.
Also, from an analyzing point of view, there were a few requirements to consider:
- Mandatory availability of a panel layout (dxf or pdf string map).
- Individual photos covering the vertical plane of modules of the dam.
- Sufficient horizontal movement photo overlap.
But having taken all the requirements into account, Robert & Oliver were able to acquire the necessary photos & upload them to the Sitemark Fuse Platform, where Sitemark’s technology could do its magic.
”"It was thrilling to be part of such a unique project and to think out of the box, both on the acquisition and data analytics side, but the result is worth it."Sophie SandorCertified Thermographer