Rapid fault diagnosis of photovoltaic panels under outdoor environmental conditions

This paper investigates opportunities to rapidly detect defects in photovoltaic (PV) panels. It is worth noting that a defect in a single PV cell can significantly reduce the output power of a PV panel and, thereby, of an entire PV array. Hence, it is crucial to detect faults in PV panels and replace them within PV power plants. In this paper, we utilise synchronized thermography (ST) to obtain infrared (IR) images under outdoor environmental conditions. We illustrate how IR-images obtained under changing irradiation and different angles can be analysed to rapidly detect defects in PV panels. Our technique allows maintenance staff to quickly identify PV panels with defects on the site of a PV power plant.