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PV System Faults and Causes

Failures in PV systems can reduce the efficiency of the system and thus negatively affect energy production. Aerial thermography is a highly effective method to detect and resolve such failures.

Cracks and Fractures in Panels

Cracks or fractures in PV panels often occur as a result of extreme weather conditions or physical impacts. Such failures can reduce panel efficiency. Aerial drone thermography detects cracks by examining the surface temperatures of PV panels.

Inverter Failures

Inverters are important components that convert solar energy into electrical energy. Inverter failures are usually caused by overheating or electrical problems.

Shadowing Problems

Shadowing refers to the condition where one or more PV panels are in shadow. Shading reduces panel efficiency, which leads to a reduction in energy production. Panel layout can be optimized by detecting shadowing areas with aerial thermography.

Cooling Problems

Inadequate cooling of the panels can lead to overheating and therefore loss of performance. By examining the temperature distribution of the panels, airborne thermography detects cooling problems and necessary measures can be taken in a timely manner.

Cleaning Problems

Failure to clean the panels regularly can lead to the accumulation of factors such as dust, dirt and bird droppings. This coats the surface of the panels, preventing them from absorbing sunlight efficiently. Aerial thermography can detect dirty or contaminated panels and direct them for cleaning.

Aerial thermography method with drone is very effective for the detection and solution of such malfunctions in solar power plants. By analyzing the thermal data obtained from the air with MapperX artificial intelligence software, possible problems can be detected at an early stage and measures can be taken. This ensures efficient operation of solar power plants, increases energy production and reduces solar energy system maintenance costs.

Anomalies Detected with MapperX

  • Cell Faults

It occurs when the cells of the panels overheat. it is seen in thermal images as a point where the temperature is higher than the rest of the PV panel.

  • Multi Cell Faults

An anomaly that occurs when more than one cell in the panel overheats. It is indicated in the thermal data by a few spots where the temperature has a higher intensity than the rest of the panel.

  • Diode Fault

A Diode Fault provides a current path within a faulty cell or panel. The diode anomaly is usually seen in approximately 1/3 of the panel.

  • Multi Diode Fault

A multiple diode fault is a type of anomaly in a solar panel where more than one active bypass diode is affected. This fault usually occurs in approximately 3/2 of the PV panel.

  • Hotspot Fault

Hotspot anomaly refers to an abnormal spot that occurs in one of the cells in PV panels. The anomalous spot occurs in a high resistance region of the cell and the high resistance in this region causes the energy generated by other cells in the PV panel to accumulate at this point.

  • Junction Box Fault

The junction box is an enclosure that connects the arrays in the solar panels and a failure in this box affects the overall performance of the PV panel.

  • Module Fault

It is an anomaly that occurs when the entire module in the solar panel either fails, causing it to overheat, or when the panel is completely offline.

  • Shadowing Faults

It refers to the reduction of energy production as a result of heating caused by shading on a certain area of the solar panel. Shading on the solar panel is usually caused by trees, buildings or other objects.

  • Crack Faults

It is a heating fault caused by cracks on the surface of the solar panel due to environmental conditions. These cracks reduce the overall performance of the panel.

  • Contamination

A heating anomaly caused by dirt, dust or other debris accumulated on the surface of the solar panel.

  • Plant Shading

Panels are blocked by vegetation. It is a situation where the shadow caused by the growth of plants near the solar panels creates heating in the panel and prevents production.

  • Delamination Faults

It is a defect in the structure of solar panels. The layers on the panel surface can be active layers, back layers or other structural components. Delamination anomaly, especially when the thin film on the panel is deformed, can cause a fire.

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