Photo: The Drone Life, LLC
Thermography in photovoltaic systems is one of the most important non-destructive inspection methods, due to the ease of achieving results.
It is carried out using an infrared camera which produces an image that captures the radiation emitted by a body.
Any kind of body that has a temperature higher than absolute zero emits radiation in the infrared wavelength.
This is an area where infrared cameras operate and can produce a visual image of the emitted radiation, thus creating temperature profiles.
Thermography has been successfully used for several years, in areas that include the following:
– Medical applications
– Military applications
– Facility inspections
– Mechanical applications
– Electrical/Energy applications
– Building applications
The thermographic inspection, which is carried out using an infrared camera, identifies the causes of the production of superheated areas, which the human eye cannot perceive.
Thermography should be used in any application in which the effect of temperature has a crucial contribution to the performance and quality of the installation’s operation, with a view to the early prevention of phenomena such as wear or malfunctions.
Thermographic facility inspections are classified into two main categories:
– Quality/Performance/Energy Savings Inspections
– Safety Inspections
Correspondingly, it is not enough to simply diagnose an installation’s potentially problematic area, but also to assess its risk.
For this reason, the importance of thermographic inspections at critical points of an installation, where a possible failure would create safety issues for the entire facility, is imperative at regular intervals.
Thus, the elements that make up an installation are divided into critical and non-critical, requiring a different level of severity and thoroughness for the inspection of each category.
The evaluation and classification of findings (deficiencies) is based on the “International Testing Association Maintenance Testing Specifications Directive”, 1997 (NETA MTS-1997).
A photovoltaic installation requires continuous operation, which will ensure the maximum power generation efficiency, a long life, and high profits for investors.
In order to ensure the seamless operation of the facility, without damage over time, the science of thermography is essential to inspecting its quality and performance.
Thermography is a non-destructive inspection method in which the facility continues its normal operation without any interruptions during the testing process, which would result in a significant loss of revenue, especially in large power plants.
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