Thermal imaging is fast becoming an excellent tool for checking the unseen, inner workings of solar panels that are not performing. This was the case on a Hereford solar farm that is managed by Hereford based, Caplor Energy. Clean Solar Solutions were called in to use our thermal imaging camera out what potential problems were causing the underperformance.
Caplor Energy were quick to notice the underperformance from a string of the solar farm and sent an engineer to meet us on site. We were fortunate to have a cold, but sunny day to work with in late October, so that we had sufficient light levels for the thermal imaging of the solar panels and we could get accurate results.
We firstly checked the combiner boxes for overheating components, but everything checked out ok.
We did discover some solar panels that had cells that had failed, showing signs of Potential Induced Degradation (PID). PID is an undesirable property of some solar modules. It has been described as a ‘cancer’ of solar modules. PID can have a dramatic negative effect on the performance of PV modules. Crystalline silicon solar cells affected by PID become slightly warmer than unaffected cells, as shown in the thermal images below.
Due to the images that we were able to obtain, Caplor Energy will now be in a good position to either swap the modules, fit a PID PV Offset Box or employ the specialist services of a PV maintenance company such as Suncycle to reverse the PID.
The solar array thermal imaging service that Clean Solar Solutions provide can identify PID and other unseen problems that occur with solar arrays. We are happy to provide you with more information and prices upon request. Please feel free to contact us.