All About Solar
Let there be light…
The solar industry is growing exponentially
There are now over 300 GW of capacity in the world1, including 47 GW in the United States2. Operations and maintenance (O&M) providers are responsible for the upkeep of large photovoltaic systems (solar farms), and they are increasingly turning to drones to reduce maintenance costs and increase power generation.
Faults Detected Using Aerial Thermal Imaging
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), there are 3 major categories of faults that can be detected using aerial thermal imaging3:
Module faults: These include individual hot spots on the cells, diode failures, shattered or dirty modules, coating and fogging issues, and junction box heating.
String and system faults: Wiring issues (reversed polarity, frayed cables), charge controller issues, and inverter and fuse failures.
Racking and balance of system: These are major issues with how the modules are mounted. Drones are also useful in spotting major site issues, such as vegetation management, poor drainage, and soil erosion underneath the racking.