Thermal imaging - Solar Panels and Hot Water Systems

At Thermal Imaging Victoria we can inspect and report on your Solar Panels and Hot Water Systems while they are in operation and under load.

 

Thermal cameras are an ideal tool to check solar panels for bad cells, “If a solar cell produces less electricity, it usually produces more heat than the other cells. That means that you can very easily spot such ineffective cells with a thermal camera.”
The cause for solar cell inefficiency usually lies in the uniformity of the semi-conductor material that is used, for most solar panels this semi-conductor is silicon. The multicrystalline silicon wafers used in most solar cells can be very prone to develop these non-uniformities either during the production process or later on. If a solar cell has a higher concentration of these non-uniformities it produces less electricity and more heat than others, dragging the performance of the entire panel down.

Inspection solar panels with thermal imaging

 

The sales of solar panels are soaring, which in turn is helping reduce CO2 emissions at electricity plants. Over time, failures in solar panels can cause a severe drop in energy production and in some cases even start a fire if left unchecked. That is why the solar panels should be inspected on a regular basis.


As temperatures rise solar panels become less efficient, producing less electricity. Some defects can cause them to break down or even produce a reverse current, which might damage the entire solar plant. Thermal imaging cameras can be used to detect hot spots in the panels from a distance, which makes it a lot easier to find defects before they become devastating breakdowns.

 

What are the benefits of thermal imaging

 

  • Identify defective vacuum tubes in evacuated tube collectors in solar hot water systems

  • Check for PV panel hot spots and damaged cells

  • Identify overheating junction boxes before they become a hazard

  • Non-destructive & non-intrusive method

  • Inspect solar panels under load, so no shutdown is required

  • Camera will show accurate temperature differences between cells to identify faults at an early stage

  • Inspect entire system including: connections, inverters, fuses and all other electrical components of the system.


 

Overheating of solar panel