Drone Solar Panel/Farm Inspection with Thermal and EL Imaging

Drone Solar Panel/Farm Inspection 2018-04-27T15:59:00+00:00

ABJ SolarVue – The Next Level of Solar Inspections

Achieve Maximum Energy Production and Faster ROI from your Solar Farms.

Our key objective is to identify the faulty Solar Panels so they can be replaced by the manufacturers while they are in warranty, maximize output/efficiency and proactively addressing issues thus minimizing maintenance cost. We leverage drone Thermal Imaging and Aerial Inspections to provide accurate and detailed inspections quicker and more cost effectively.

Value of Drones for Solar Farm Inspections

  • Rapid and Easy scans for Roof tops and arrays
  • Hot spot identification showing defective cells / Geotagged image
  • Diagnostic purpose / planning of Panel placement
  • Infrared signatures show defective panels
  • Keep the solar farm running at peak efficiency
  • Save time with pre-selected way point aerial inspections

About the Solar Industry

Continuous growth of the solar industry brings an ever-expanding base of solar installations. Quality assurance is of fundamental importance for solar panels as they are expected to provide a life of 20 years. The failure-free operation of the panels is a prerequisite for efficient power generation, long life, and a high return on investment. This is often not the case with myriad of solar panel manufacturers supplying products of varying quality. Over time, solar panels may develop defects which can be easily fixed if detected in time, but can cause a severe drop in energy production and in some cases even start a fire if left unchecked.

Performance declines as solar cells degrade due to unavoidable circumstances

  • UV exposure
  • Thermal cycling
  • Damp heat
  • Humidity freeze
  • Solar panels degrade about 0.5% to 3% each year

Solar Panel Array Inspections

Cells become negatively biased and instead of producing electrical energy they produce heat energy due to:

  • Cell failure
  • Interconnection failure
  • Melting of solder
  • Degradation of the solar cell
  • Decrease of operational efficiency
  • Potential problem areas can be detected and repaired

Our Drone Thermal Imaging Services

To ensure a failure-free operation, a mechanism needs to be in place which is fast, simple and reliable to evaluate. Hence more and more solar panel installers work with ABJ Drones’ experienced thermographers; we offer regular thermal imaging inspections to ensure the safety and effective deployment of solar systems.

What are the advantages of thermal imaging?

  • Anomalies can clearly be seen on a high resolution thermal image, they cannot be seen with a naked eye
  • Drones with a thermal camera can scan installed solar panels during normal operation
  • Scan large areas with short time frame
  • Potential problem areas can be detected and repaired
  • Geo tagging – localize faulty modules easily in large areas, e.g., in solar farms and relate the thermal images to the equipment, e.g., in reports.

Efficiencies of Drones in Solar Farm Inspections

  • Utilizing UAS will typically reduce cost of inspections by approximately 30-50%
  • Speed of inspection time is greatly improved
  • Safety of personnel is improved as there is less need for personnel to ascend to height for inspections in the case of elevated arrays

Avoid Costly Mistakes

  • A single malfunctioning cell can compromise the entire system causing economic damage
  • Effective maintenance of the system is required to obtain the best possible performance and better return on investment