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Fault Inspection of CIGS PV Plant Using Aerial Infrared Thermography
D. Amstad, A.K. Vidal de Oliveira, A. Häberle, R. Rüther
Defects, CIGS, Infrared Thermography, Thin Film (TF), Fault Inspection
PV Systems and Storage – Modelling, Design, Operation and Performance
Subtopic: Operation, Performance and Maintenance of PV Systems
Event: 36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5CV.4.6
1569 - 1574
ISBN: 3-936338-60-4
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20192019-5CV.4.6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, poster


Aerial infrared thermography (aIRT) has become an important method for the fault inspection of large, utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) plants. The method uses an infrared (IR) camera mounted on a drone to detect the faults, which produce changes in the thermal behaviour of PV modules, in an efficient manner. There is plenty of research in the field for crystalline silicon modules, but not for thin-film PV technologies. In this work, a CIGS thin-film PV plant is inspected by aIRT in order to investigate this process and to find which faults can be detected by aIRT. The inspection at 20 m altitude of the 1 MWp plant of 1.4 hectares took about 12 minutes, and the analysis of the video data about 30 minutes. Such an inspection allows the detection of the following faults: disconnected strings, short-circuits, bypassed modules, most of the cell breaks, hot junction boxes and bad soldering problems. Other faults could not be detected by this method, namely glass breaks and certain cell breaks.