Continuous growth of the solar industry brings an ever expanding base of solar installations. While many solar panels are expected to provide a 20 year life span, this is often not the case with myriad of solar panel manufacturers supplying products of varying quality.
As solar plants become a leading supplier of renewable energy, it is essential to perform routine inspections to ensure the field is operating at peak performance. Solar plant inspections are vital to ensuring the solar cells are performing properly, minimizing potential power loss; they are also legally required to maintain certification. By law, solar plants need to be scanned with an infrared camera annually. Identifying small faults before they become major issues lower the cost of repairs and interrupted services.
Common solar panel faults
Defective bypass diodes
Short circuits and falling connections
Penetration of moisture and/or dirt
Cracked cells or glass cracks
Failed or disconnected modules
Mismatched panels with different capacities
Loose contacts and wiring faults
Wear and tear
Inspecting transmission/distribution lines & poles is a risky, labor and time intensive process. Traditionally, these inspections have been on pole or ground based. These inspection methods can be dangerous and/or time consuming.
Look Thermography Corp. uses Drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to make our inspections faster and more efficient than conventional methods. We use state of the art RGB & Thermal cameras and drone technology to inspect all essential components of transmission and distribution network assets. We can identify deteriorating and defective cross members, bolts, phase conductors, gussets, insulators, ground wires and other poor performing components – all from unique angles and a safe distance.
Drone based infrared roof inspections enable you to collect important and actionable data on commercial and residential rooftops and other assets. See the building condition, spot leaks and imperfections, or simply understand current vents, HVAC systems, or solar panels already installed on the roof.
Locating the exact point of moisture intrusion into a commercial roof system can be an extremely overwhelming and frustrating task. By using aerial infrared thermography, we find the trapped moisture below the roof membrane and mark the wet areas so that repairs can be made surgically. This can save you money because you may not have to replace the roof as soon. By marking paint directly on the roof, repair areas can be seen by anyone standing on the roofs after the survey is performed. Incorporating roof scans as part of the "pre-purchase" or "building-commissioning" process can potentially save you thousands.
How an infrared roof inspection works:
When looking for moisture, infrared roof inspections are performed in the early evening and during the night. This allows us to take advantage of a physical property called thermal capacitance. Thermal capacitance is the physical property of a material’s ability to store heat. The materials in roof assemblies have a relatively low thermal capacitance, especially when compared to water. Water requires a lot of energy to raise its temperature and likewise must release a lot of energy to cool. Therefore, as the roof radiates energy back to the night sky, the dry areas of the roof will cool faster and the wet areas will cool slower thereby creating the thermal contrast we need to locate anomalies that require further investigation.