Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is making its presence felt in a variety of fields. So, it’s no surprise that it’s also having an impact on solar energy.
Simply put, AI is a series of computer algorithms capable of learning from the data it receives. That means that an AI program can reach conclusions in a way similar to humans.
However, AI has the ability to process billions of data points faster than even the brightest human. So it can make predictions about the outcome of a situation with greater accuracy than traditional computer programs could ever do.
The solar energy industry harnesses the power of AI to produce better solar equipment, to better understand incoming data, and to create efficient schedules for production and maintenance.
Let’s look briefly at some of the specific ways AI is impacting solar energy.
Enhancing Energy Maintenance and Energy Production
AI can search for inefficiencies in the energy supply line. It can determine were there are mismatches between consumer consumption and energy production. It can also track flaws in the way the energy producer transmits its product.
If energy suppliers use AI, they can more accurately foretell the peaks in demand and adjust accordingly. Greater understanding of consumer needs can reduce the chances of emergency brownouts and catastrophic blackouts. Customers would be pleased, and both the energy producer and the consumer would benefit economically in savings.
Predict Maintenance Needs
Prior to AI, predicting the maintenance needs of any system relied heavily on simply gauging the lifespan of the system’s parts. The prediction couldn’t take into consideration the specific factors making one system different from others. AI changes that.
AI can analyze previous maintenance issues and formulate a timeline for replacing or upgrading parts. But what makes AI so valuable is that it will include as part of its predictive model detailed usage history, local weather patterns, and environmental factors.
Having an accurate predictive model allows for budgeting accordingly. Knowing when you should replace specific parts gives you the time to set aside funds unique to that project. So, you severely decrease the likelihood of being surprised by an unexpected repair.
Improve Energy Output
A large amount of energy may be captured by solar panels but how much of it makes it to the homes and businesses of customers? AI can discover where an energy producer is losing energy before it has a chance to power a home or business.
For example, AI can uncover areas where equipment is faulty or miscalibrated. AI can also recognize where more training is needed for people prone to make costly errors.
Correcting problems whether mechanical, digital, or human can lead to a greater energy output with a minimum of disruption.
Cost Savings and Greater Efficiency
AI can increase the efficiency of solar panels while reducing operating costs. How? AI can capture data from sensors on solar panels and make adjustments in milliseconds to optimize a panel for current conditions.
Meanwhile, AI can suggest when to take proactive measures to correct an issue that, if left unchecked, could become critical. Through analysis, AI can help prevent expensive breakdowns.