Solar Panel Data Capture - RGB and Thermal Imaging

INFRATEC Drones Solar Panel Flights

To understand why we use drones for Solar Panel inspections it’s a good idea to understand the solar industry a little first. 

Solar is a renewable source of energy and as fossil fuels are depleting and are harmful to the environment we need new solutions to meet energy needs.

Harnessing the energy from the Sun is one method. To do this we use Solar Panels. To ensure the panels are operating correctly we can use drones with Thermal and Visual sensors to detect anomalies within the solar cells. Solar panels do degrade over time due to weathering and can degrade up to 3% each year. 

 

INFRATEC Drones Thermal Imaging 

We utilise the latest thermal sensor DJI H20T which has a 640x520 thermal sensor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The advantages of thermal imaging with drones are;

  • Invisible anomalies can be seen clearly

  • Panels do not need to be switched off to carry out survey

  • Scan large areas within a short time frame

  • Geo tag potential problem areas

Why use Drones with thermal cameras?

  Using a drone will typically reduce cost up to 50%
  Using a drone will speed up the inspection time
  Improves Health and safety

One damaged cell within a Solar installation can compromise the entire solar array causing economical damage. A drone can quickly detect the damaged cell and a technician can then work on the panel or replace to ensure the system is running as optimally as possible.

Once an installation is installed it is a good idea to have an independent drone survey with thermal. Not only are you gaining a bench mark for the installation but you will also ensure the panels are running correctly before the system is signed off and handed over to you.