Thermal cameras can quickly scan solar PV and solar thermal panels to provide information on function and performance.
Solar panels can be challenging to survey using infrared cameras and consideration of viewing position and altitude, IFoV and environmental conditions must be considered. ScanTherm has high resolution 640×480 equipment and access to mobile masts as well as UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) sometimes known as drones to allow effective surveys from domestic systems to large commercial solar parks with MW or tens of MW systems.
We have experience of surveying both solar PV and solar thermal panel installations from both the ground and the air. Defective cells, defective panels and strings can be identified without physical access to the panels, as well as the distribution boards, isolators and inverters. Thermal imaging can be used in the initial acceptance testing of a solar array. Alternatively it can be used reactively to quickly locate defective cells, diodes, modules or strings non-intrusively or as part of ongoing operations and maintenance plans.
There are a number of technical considerations involved in scanning solar PV with thermal imaging equipment. These apply whether it is a small domestic installation or a large commercial array or solar park and a good knowledge of the physics behind thermal imaging and sources of error are required to avoid missing problems or falsely identifying problems which do not really exist. There are also some significant requirements of the equipment itself and calculations need to be made relating to the camera and detector characteristics as well as the size and location of the panels. Please get in touch with ScanTherm to discuss how we may be able to assist with using thermography to scan solar panels.