Drones can be used to inspect the functioning of solar panels during the summer months – either those that form part of a commercial installation or solar farm or those on private property. Two issues that are commonly found on solar PV cells are defective cells and defective converter boxes. Defective cells may be found individually or as a group whereas a defective converter will appear as a single ‘hot spot’ that does not fit the cell layout pattern.
Malfunctioning solar cells can create further damage such as melted solder connections, cracking of the protective glass cover, and degradation of the adjacent cells. Therefore, early identification can help to minimise repair bills as well as to keep the solar panels functioning at maximum capacity.
Problems are immediately apparent when looking at the thermal images gathered from a drone flight so target repair teams can be deployed to address the issues.