Quick, Simple and Efficient Solar Panel Inspection by Drone

Solar Panel Fault Detection by Thermal Imaging
Solar Photovoltaic Fault Detection by Thermal Drone

With the Summer now on the way, it’s now time to check your solar panels for errors

With energy prices at an all time high, there has never been a more pertinent time to ensure your solar panel installation is working to its maximum capacity and efficiency. If you don’t conduct regular inspections, you will not know if you have panel cell errors or even whole string arrays failing which are reducing your installation’s ability to create electricity.

We recommend that both domestic and commercial roof installations are checked at least every two years – this involves a short, simple drone flight using a thermal imaging camera to inspect you photovoltaic solar panels from the air. As long as the flights are undertaken while the panels are under load from the solar irradiation, problems from cells through to string arrays will show up clearly when seen with a thermal camera. The data from the inspection is reviewed by a qualified thermographer to determine the possible issues and faults to address.  Solutions can be as simple as clearing debris and bird droppings or even cutting back shading trees and foliage.

Serious faults can become a fire risk from panels that overheat and transfer their thermal energy to surrounding dry substructures. However, the main problem is that if panels are not working correctly you are not benefitting from the electricity generated and therefore your investment is going to waste.

What is involved with a Solar Panel Inspection?

Solar panel inspections are much simpler and cheaper than you might think. Using a drone, or a 15m mast if a drone flight is not permitted or difficult, you can place a thermal camera above the solar PV panels and collect thermogram images which show and record the errors. The process may only take a few minutes for smaller installations like the arrays in the pictures on this page. However, it is very important that the inspection is completed by a qualified thermographer as the inspection climate and environment needs to be clearly understood and the data both professionally collected and interpreted.

At Drone Media Imaging, as certified drone pilots and category 2 thermographers, we take care of all the flight planning requirements, data collection and fault reporting in line with solar panel inspection standards IEC 62446-3:2017 and BS EN ISO 62446-1:2016. This way you can be assured of an efficient cost effective inspection, which is conducted safely, legally and to the required standards.

We offer a fixed price solar panel inspection service that covers the majority of installations domestically and commercially in the UK.  The only variable is the travel fee to your location which we calculate when quoting. Once you get in touch, we conduct desk research to determine if there are any drone flights issues, risks or considerations before confirming a fully quoted price, which may be as low as £95 (plus travel and vat). Once booked, it is a case of ensuring that the correct weather window is observed – a sunny day, with no rain or precipitation and low winds below 5 mph.  It is also important the the solar irradiation levels are in the region of 600 wm2 to ensure faults can be easily detected.


Domestic Solar Panel Roof Installations

For simple domestic solar panel installations you can book your inspection directly online using our booking calendar and online payment. The date booked will be subject to the weather conditions which are very important when conduction solar panel inspections. We always confirm bookings 24-48 hours beforehand to confirm the if the weather is appropriate and will need to postpone to a later date if not.


Commercial Solar Panel Installations

For commercial solar panel installations we will provide you with a quotation following a review of your requirements. Please complete the simple quote form on this link and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Sussex Solar Panel Fault Detection
thermal imaging of solar panels
Photovoltaic solar panel thermal inspection by drone