Bullitt Group, the global licensee for Cat® phones, today revealed the partnership with Wesii S.r.l., an innovative Italian start-up that operates aerial thermography within the renewable energy sector, mainly the photovoltaic industry. The two companies have been working together to combine the efficiencies of on the ground reporting using the integrated thermal imaging capabilities of the rugged Cat S61 smartphone, and the Wesii state-of-the-art aerial thermography preventive maintenance solutions.
The photovoltaic industry is growing faster than any other renewable energy field and the management and maintenance of solar plants requires on the ground problem solving across over 1000 sites in Italy alone. Faults and thermal defects affect plant efficiency and in extreme conditions, might lead to plant shutdown, reducing incomes. Thus, constant monitoring is highly recommended, in order to avoid extra costs for reactive maintenance and loss of energy.
Field engineers, equipped with a rugged Cat S61 smartphone with integrated thermal imaging camera, will now be able to send data in real time from the field to managers and plant owners via Wesii Elios Field Application, therefore improving preventive maintenance.
Mauro Migliazzi, Founder & CEO of Wesii commented: “We normally use high power thermal imaging drones for inspection work, but by adding on the ground equipment in the form of a highly durable and portable smartphone, we now have a simple and effective way to manage the images captured in the field that improves efficiency in the O&M field activities.“
Issues and inefficiencies are often seen as a temperature difference and the team can diagnose these using the thermal camera on the Cat S61 to see the hot or cold spots. By combining this technology with a bespoke app designed by Wesii, the supervision of plants is accelerated in a manner previously unavailable to the important renewable energy market.
The app, Elios Field, has been used in its beta version on the Cat S61 and given to employees who are now able to quickly capture and share data in the field using the phones connectivity. By uploading and sharing both thermal and visible images taken by the Cat S61, with serial numbers and any notes to asset managers and the photovoltaic plant owners added, it is now possible to manage each high value solar plant that requires continuous monitoring to maintain its maximum efficiency, all via an on the ground employee.
Nathan Vautier, Chief Sales Officer EMEA & APAC at Bullitt Group, licensee for Cat® phones
commented: “Instant access to thermal imaging via the phone in your pocket enables many businesses to operate more efficiently and find new ways to improve and we are excited to work with Wesii to bring these benefits to the renewable energy sector. On the ground monitoring and real time reporting back via a rugged smartphone with a long battery life is facilitating some important efficiencies to this sector.”