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Outdoor Non-Destructive Infrared Thermography of Photovoltaic Modules and Plants for Inspection: IEC 62446-3
B. Jaeckel, B. Weinreich, C. Buerhop-Lutz, U. Jahn
Thermography, Imaging, Infrared, Interpretation
Operation, Performance, Reliability and Sustainability of Photovoltaics
Subtopic: Operation of PV Systems
Event: 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5DO.12.3
1741 - 1745
ISBN: 3-936338-41-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20162016-5DO.12.3
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, presentation


The use of thermography in Photovoltaic started around 2010 and is almost main stream today. Due to that development quite different results are achieved currently while carrying out thermography in a PV power plant. To increase the level of understanding and more importantly comparability between thermograms standardization is urgently needed. During the past years standardization projects were ongoing on national and international level to improve the evaluation of thermograms taken of PV components. In this contribution we will first give an overview about the current situation of standardization by reviewing the history of thermography standardization. Second we will focus on further achievements in thermography and the implementation of them into an international IEC standard IEC 62446-3. That includes some, in principle, basics of thermography, personal qualification and reporting. The purpose of this work and the standardization is to describe the physical and technical parameters that are required for reliable fault detection in the field when conducting infrared (IR) imaging of PV plants. Although IR imaging of PV modules and plants in operation is used for several years to locate thermal abnormalities of BOS components (PV modules, here in particular cells, diodes and connections, and other components like combiner or fuse boxes), the evaluation and conclusions drawn from such collected thermograms differ significantly. With the help of this document and the upcoming IEC standard the comparability is aimed to increase and help to establish a common understanding. At the end an outlook is given for further work which might result in edition two of IEC 62446-3.