Italian startup offers drones to transport PV modules in remote locations

FlyingBasket has developed a drone that can carry up to 100 kg of payload over distances of 2.5 km, and up to 5 kg across 25 km.

The Hermosa China educational channel recently published a video of a drone transporting solar panels in China’s Gansu province.

“A drone can transport 360 solar panels a day and 40 drones operate in shifts,” the media outlet said. without providing further details. “This will be a huge solar power plant.”

pv magazine identified a European startup that has just launched a drone with these functions – FlyingBasket, based in Bolzano, northern Italy.

The company was established in 2015 by Moritz Moroder and Matthias Moroder. They came up with the idea of transporting solar panels with drones while they were hiking in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy and noticed a helicopter bringing food to a mountain refuge.

The idea of replacing a helicopter with a drone began to take shape to make such services more sustainable, efficient and profitable. In the following years, they designed, developed and tested drone prototypes in a mountainous area where weather conditions can be extremely difficult and the first use cases were tested.

“In 2020 FlyingBasket was the first operational commercial cargo drone,” they said.

In October 2023 they launched the FB3 UAV, an unmanned multicopter with eight rotors powered by four rechargeable batteries, capable of transporting up to 100 kg of payload.

With an empty weight of 70 kg and dimensions of 1,600 mm x 1,600 mm x 412 mm, the FB3 can reach speeds of 30 meters per second. It is capable of flying up to 2.5 km carrying 100 kg of weight, and up to 25 km with five kg. Its operating temperature range is from -10 C to 45 C.

FlyingBasket currently sells the drone for €75,900 ($83.322).

Leonardo currently owns around 10% of FlyingBasket, with around 25% in the hands of Cysero, a venture capital fund promoted by AVM Gestioni SGR and Kilometro Rosso, which invested directly in the company in March 2022. The remaining 65% is distributed among the founders and directors of the company, including the Moroder brothers.

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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