Quality assurance is of fundamental importance for solar panels. The failure-free operation of the panels is a prerequisite for efficient power generation, long life, and a high return on the investment. To ensure this failure free operation a fast, simple and reliable method to evaluate a solar panel’s performance is required, both during the production process and after the panel has been installed.
The use of thermal imaging for solar panel evaluation offers several advantages. Anomalies can clearly be seen on a crisp thermal image and – unlike most other methods – thermal imaging can be used to scan installed solar panels during normal operation.
Defective cells in solar panels decrease the output, meaning the panel is not producing as much power as it could be. It is important to use infrared to detect a problem like this, because troubleshooting the cells one at a time is extremely time consuming, and costly. Thermal imaging can detect problems faster and from a distance.
Before installation of solar panels on commercial buildings, the structure’s roof should have a complete thermographic inspection to detect any trapped moisture. The electrical system for the building should also be inspected for electrical faults such as loose connections, overloaded or imbalanced circuits, faulty breakers, damaged switches or any other hazardous condition.
Infrared scans can identify dead cells