Infrared Thermography for Photovoltaic Panels

Using the U5850 Series True IR Thermal Imager | A Keysight Application Brief

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Thermography for Photovoltaic Panel Using the U5850 Series TrueIR Thermal Imager – Application Note Figure – Image Courtesy Keysight Technologies

Online — This applications story looks at the use of thermal imaging as a method to expedite identification of faulty Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, especially in solar generation panels and “farms”.

Solar cell power generation systems use a collection of PV panels to convert sunlight into electrical energy using the photoelectric effect. Each panel is made up of several PV modules, each in turn consisting of a matrix of PV cells that convert solar radiation into electricity.

The failure of any PV cell may lead to a drop in power generation causing output yield losses.

When a cell is shaded or not working, the cell consumes power from the adjacent series of solar cells as opposed to generating power, thereby becoming hotter than its neighbors.

On solar farms, that may consist of up to a few thousand PV panels, electrical testing at each individual PV panel is time consuming and cumbersome. Thermal imaging with a capable thermal camera can help locate troubled faulty cells much more efficiently.

The figure above show hotspots detected on overheated solar module cells using the Keysight Technologies, Inc. U5850 Series True IR thermal imager.

The Keysight U5855A thermal imager has 320×240 fine resolution that delivers a high-quality thermal image, which reveals finer details and enables users to quickly spot the problem.

It works from –20 to 350 °C, with thermal sensitivity as narrow as 0.07 °C.

This enables even a small variation of temperature to be detected and produces a clear image for problem analysis.

To easily detect the location of anomalies, especially for a matrix of solar cells on a solar farm, the fusion camera mode in Keysight U5855A adds the IR image on top of the visible image.

The captured images can be imported to the TrueIR Analysis and Reporting software tool, where it is easy to analyze and edit thermal images and quickly generate reports using pre-made templates.

The thermal images and visual images can be displayed side-by-side for further analysis.

For the whole story plus information on the Keysight US855A Thermal Imager and all its features visit their webpage at:

About Keysight Technologies

Keysight Technologies is a brand new company with over 75 years of electronic test and measurement success under our belts. Founded in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and David Packard as HP, our expertise continued as Agilent Technologies’ Electronic Measurement Group. Today, Keysight is 100% focused on helping companies tackle the toughest electronic design, test and measurement challenges through a combination of trusted hardware, innovative software and our own global team of industry experts.