24/11/2021

EFISUN and thermal inspections by drone

On June 16th 2020, EFISUN was invited by PARROT who wanted to share our experience on thermal inspections for Photovoltaic power plants. Their ANAFI Thermal drone has a very advantageous size/weight vs. image quality ratio to meet certain needs for rapid deployment on international installations.

Since 2019 EFISUN has been offering its partners, in addition to traditional thermal inspections of electrical boxes, thermal inspections by drone and has inspected nearly 100 MWp of solar panels meeting current standards.

In its strategy of continuous improvement based on the implementation of innovative solutions, EFISUN has been working since 2021 to offer its partners services with automated flights and image analysis. The time saved, allowing to reduce inspection costs, coupled with the normative analysis and the support of EFISUN engineers, allows to offer synthetic and reliable reports.

Thermal inspection is a very popular tool in the solar industry because the thermal characteristics of a panel in production can reveal intrinsic problems in the panels as well as more general concerns about the DC power supply or the inverter, which can have a short- and long-term impact on the health of the installation and its production. EFISUN intervenes in these different cases:

1 – During the commissioning phase to control the handling and installation of the panels. The picture illustrates the example of an entire table that was forgotten during the commissioning.

2 – During the maintenance phase. A preventive maintenance plan including an annual thermal inspection allows for example to plan interventions that will optimize the production during the sunny season. The picture below illustrates a string of disconnected modules, which, following our inspection, was put back into production before the summer.

3 – When diagnosing a plant: Current inspection, sale or purchase. A complete inspection allows to evaluate the health of a solar power plant. The picture illustrates the PID effects that must be taken into account in an inspection.

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