Photovoltaics Inspection with Drones
Most efficient 100% inspection of your PV-energy station by thermal imaging drone
- 100% test down to single cell level while running
- roof top installations do not require scaffolds, disassembly etc.
- according to norms, based on VATh-guideline
- traceable results based on qualified thermographic reporting
- classification of defects based on typical pattern
- inspection season (Central Europe) based on panel direction from mid February until late October
Inspecting photovoltaics by applying electrical measurements is very demanding extremely time consuming. Inspecting roof mount PV-generators, independent from their overall size, usually scaffolds or other legal required safety measures are to be installed. The overall cost, generated by the overall effort described usually are shrinking many, if not all PV-operators from regular inspections. Testing the generators down to single PV-cell level usually is impossible, too.
As soon as a single cell is defect, it quits producing electrical energy and basically reverses it’s behaviour and consumes electrical energy due to an increase of it’s internal resistance, leading to increase it’s temperature compared to intact cells around it. This difference in temperature can easily reach values above and beyond 30°C and more at maximum solar irradiation. At that point the risk that a module get’s on fire becomes very real!
Operating an octocopter we are flying with a IR thermal camera slowly abou 10 to 15 meters above the PV-generators. The surface temperature, which is instantly computed by the IR camera from the detected IR radiation is displayed on our monitor as an IR thermal image besides a lot of other numeric information. Our system operates with 9 Hz, performing 9 measurements per second of 3qabout 330,000 individual measurement points, each. Every single cell with elevated temperature, every hot spot or thermal stressed connecting box can be sen as a thermal signature already during the drone’s flight. For keeping a better overview, especially while inspecting large solar power plants as well as getting a visual impression about mechanical defects or contamination of the upper surface of the module, we simultaneously record visual images. This is not only quite helpful but also required by the test norm.
After the flight we analyse the measured datasets and we provide thermal images and verbal description for any abnormality, found. In addition we provide a schematic overview which shows all findings color coded.
Over 75% of all solar power plant installations in Germany could significantly deliver more energy if inspected on a regular bases and subsequently identified defect modules would be exchanged. Since we started with this engineering service a few years ago, we have found only one installation without an defect and this was a brand new reference installation from the manufacturer…
We are more than happy to provide more information about photovoltaic power plant inspections with our IR thermal imaging drone. Please contact us via telephone at +49 (0)8104 8889810 an, or simply fill in the form!