PV Panel Failures and Detection
Timely treatment of PV panel failures and detection is very important. Although PV panels are manufactured with excellent quality control and modern manufacturing techniques, PV panels can still fail prematurely and panels may not work efficiently. These failures can affect the performance of the product over its entire lifetime.
Solar panels are amazing devices that convert the power of nature into electricity. However, external factors and environmental variables affect the performance of PV panels, reducing energy production. This leads to the occurrence of different failures.
Sources of Failures in PV Panels
Production Defects: Although PV panels are designed against manufacturing defects, some errors in mass production affect the quality of the products.
Transportation and Installation: Panels can be damaged during transportation from the manufacturing plant to the power plant and during installation. This shortens the service life of the panels.
Use of Poor Quality Materials: Some manufacturers use thinner and less quality materials. Cheaper materials reduce the durability of the panel.
Weather Conditions and Climate Changes
Solar panels need direct sunlight. Weather conditions such as cloudy days, rain, snow and fog block direct sunlight. This can reduce the energy production of the PV panel and lead to wear of the device over time.
Dirt, dust and bird droppings
Dirt, dust and bird droppings that accumulate on the surface of solar panels prevent sunlight from reaching the panel surface directly. These factors reduce the efficiency of the panels, reducing energy production. Especially in rural areas, birds land on the panels, causing such problems.
Tree branches, stones or other objects can cause physical damage to the panels. Cracks or fractures affect the internal structure of PV panels and negatively impact their performance. Such damages occur more frequently, especially after natural disasters.
High Temperature and Extreme Cold
PV panels must be resistant to high temperatures and extreme cold. Excessive heat can stress the electronic components of the panels, leading to malfunctions. Likewise, low temperatures can negatively affect the performance of the panels.
Panels can also be affected by electrical problems. Problems such as overvoltage, short circuits or under-voltage can greatly reduce the efficiency and durability of the panels.
These environmental variables can lead to a series of failures and faults in solar panels. Therefore, it is important to ensure the correct functioning of the panels through regular maintenance, thermal inspections, cleaning and technical inspections.
Quality manufacturing, careful handling and assembly, and the right choice of materials are essential to prevent failures in PV panels. High quality panels are the key to sustainable and reliable energy production. Such measures for both the environment and the economy guarantee the long-term success of solar technologies.
Thermal inspection is a highly effective method for detecting faults in PV panels. Thermal cameras can be used to determine whether the panels are working properly. Thermal cameras help detect faults by showing how heat is distributed in a specific area of the panels. For example, partial cell failures or problems at connection points can be easily detected by thermal inspection.
Thermal Inspection in Solar Power Plants
In large-scale solar power plants, it is quite difficult to check whether the panels are working properly. In such plants, thermal inspection is carried out by drones. Drones, equipped with high-resolution thermal cameras, provide an overview of the power plant from the air and help detect malfunctions. This method reduces the maintenance costs of the power plant and allows for the rapid elimination of malfunctions.
Aerial thermography is the use of thermal cameras from fixed-wing airplanes or helicopters. With this method, the panels of solar power plants located over large areas of land can be examined quickly and effectively. Aerial thermography detects small details as well as large-scale faults.
Equipped with high-resolution cameras, drones easily detect problems such as cracks, dirt, or puddles on the surface of PV panels. The drone images obtained after thermal inspections are analyzed with MapperX artificial intelligence-based software, fault detection processes are carried out completely autonomously, and the detected errors are turned into world-class reports that users can understand. MapperX completes pv panel analysis processes in a very short time compared to manual inspections.