FLIR Application Stories - Solar

FLIR regularly publishes application stories where you can read how our customers are using FLIR infrared cameras and thermal imaging solutions.

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Swiss solar panel specialist relies on FLIR thermal imaging camera to perform fail-proof inspections.

Solar panels have proven to be a wise, future-proof investment in terms of economy and ecology. But just like any other technology, failures may occur. Thermal imaging cameras are an ideal for quick detection of those failures. Heinz Simmler, owner of Swiss photovoltaic inspection company Energie Netzwerk, is an avid supporter of this technology.

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Photovoltaic systems thermography from the air using drones

The company paul kitawa (www.kitawa.de) is located in Calau, Germany and is specialized in film productions. In addition to advertising, training, corporate image and product films, it provides its customers with aerial video recordings using drones. Within the context of these aerial recordings, the owner of paul kitawa, Mario Hambsch, came into contact with the subject of thermography in 2011 and developed a thermal imaging camera drone based on the FLIR T620.

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Carlill Energy uses FLIR i7 thermal imaging cameras to detect problems with Solar Power Plants in Punjab, India

When solar energy panels threaten to fail, defects will usually generate heat. Luckily for Carlill Energy, because the company has successfully adopted the use of thermal imaging cameras to detect and identify problems with photovoltaic (PV) cells, junction boxes and grid network connections in a very early stage.

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FLIR Tau core helps to identify anomalies in solar plants

Tau is a compact, lightweight thermal imaging core. It is the perfect component to mount underneath Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV’s), also called drones. Just one application is the inspection of photovoltaic (PV) cells in solar plants. According to Antonio D’Argenio from Panoptes srl “There really is no alternative on the market that compares with Tau. If you look at imaging performance, size, weight and energy consumption Tau is the perfect tool to mount underneath a UAV.”

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Thermal imaging inspections of roof-mounted solar panels FLIR T640 mounted on retractable pole allows to inspect hard to reach areas

As solar panels are becoming increasingly affordable, and therefore increasingly profitable, many residential homes have been fitted with solar panels in recent years. Mounting solar panels on the roof has advantages in avoiding shadows and maximizing the amount of sunlight that falls upon them, but there’s a downside as well. The high location makes it difficult to reach for thermal imaging maintenance inspections. One company came up with a creative solution to this problem: mounting the camera on a retractable mast.

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Inspecting roof mounted solar panels with thermal imaging

The sales of solar panels are soaring, which helps to reduce CO2 emissions at electricity plants. Over time solar panels may develop defects which can be easily fixed if detected on time, but can cause a severe drop in energy production and in some cases even start a fire if left unchecked. That is why more and more solar panel installers cooperate with experienced thermographers that offer regular thermal imaging inspections to ensure the safety and effective deployment of solar systems.

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Ikaros Solar uses FLIR thermal imaging cameras

More and more solar panel professionals are discovering thermal imaging as a solar panel inspection tool. One of the companies that has embraced the use of a thermal imaging camera for this purpose is the in Schoten, Belgium based Ikaros Solar.

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Thermal imaging cameras: fast and reliable for testing solar panels

The use of thermal imaging cameras for solar panel evaluation offers several advantages. Anomalies can clearly be seen on a crisp thermal image and - unlike most other methods - thermal cameras can be used to scan installed solar panels during normal operation. Finally, thermal cameras also allow to scan large areas within a short time frame.

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Solartechnik Stiens uses FLIR thermal imaging cameras

Many people look to the sun for a renewable power source. To make sure that the solar panels they deliver perform well, Solartechnik Stiens uses a thermal imaging camera from FLIR to look for flaws.

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