Excerpt: Practical guide Thermography for photovoltaic plants

Introduction

Photovoltaic systems are an important contribution to the the energy transition, and to a sustainable handling of resources – in recent years, driven by state subsidies, numerous smaller and larger photovoltaic systems have been installed in many countries in the world. After the boom phase, the maintenance of existing plants in particular is gaining in ignificance. This practical guide explains how thermography can support you during commissioning, documentation and maintenance, and provides helpful tips for using a thermal imager.
photovoltaic plants

Motivation and reasons for using thermography.

Detecting poor quality on the markets.

In the boom years of photovoltaics, the order books were full and solar engineers were hardly able to keep up. This meant that it was not just highly trained trade experts that were filling orders. Large numbers of cross-trade and inadequately qualified contractors helped to meet the huge demand. The consequences are still being felt today: Construction errors, inadequate solar electricity yields from the plants, up to security and fire risks. It is primarily the plant operator who suffers. However, a qualitatively inferior implementation also reflects on the the company doing the work, potentially allowing damage claims to be allowed based on a thermographic analysis.


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Thermal irregularities

Thermal irregularities point to a possible loss of electricity yield.

Faulty modules

Faulty modules after a lightning storm.

Benefit: insurance cover.

Up to now, faulty bypass diodes were extremely difficult to localise after storms. Thermography is an easy and quick tool for identifying this type of damage. The costs for rectifying the fault are generally borne by the insurance company.

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Practical guide contents

  • Motivation and reasons for using thermography
  • Fault images and causes
  • Tips & tricks on measurement and avoiding errors
  • What does the ideal thermal imager look like?
  • testo thermal imagers for solar thermography
  • Thermal imagers – ideal tools for the inspection of photovoltaic plants
Practical guide Thermography for photovoltaic plants