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Research Papers

Passive and Active Thermographic Assessment as a Tool for Condition-Based Performance Monitoring of Photovoltaic Modules

[+] Author and Article Information
J. A. Tsanakas, P. N. Botsaris

Department of Production Engineering and Management, School of Engineering, Faculty of Materials, Processes and Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Vas. Sofias 12, Central University Campus, Building I, Xanthi 67100, Thrace, Greeceitsanaka@ee.duth.gr

J. Sol. Energy Eng 133(2), 021012 (Apr 13, 2011) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003731 History: Received August 13, 2010; Revised February 23, 2011; Published April 13, 2011; Online April 13, 2011

Today, to ensure efficient operation of a photovoltaic (PV) system renders as an undoubtedly major concern. Toward this direction, scope of this work is the assessment of infrared thermography as a PV module’s condition monitoring and, subsequently, performance evaluation method. The idea is based on the fact that any abnormality to the temperature pattern of an under inspection equipment implies a dysfunction case. In particular, specific thermographic measurements were applied to a PV module with known, abnormally low performance. Following the basic processing of the acquired thermal images, the extracted temperature data were contrasted with the PV module’s expected operating temperature. The results validated the presence of a problematic solar cell that refers to a “hot spot” within the tested PV module. This paper concludes with a discussion regarding the advantages, the limitations, and, ultimately, the potentiality of the intended approaches as reliable condition monitoring method through performance evaluation of PV modules.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

PV module as a multilayer thermodynamic wall

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Figure 2

The sign arrangement for the applied forward bias (active approach)

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Figure 3

Thermal image of the inspected PV module on August 26th, at 12:00

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Figure 4

Line profile analysis of the inspected PV module on August 26th, at 12:00

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Figure 5

Thermal image of the inspected PV module after 2 min of SHT procedure

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Figure 6

Thermal image of the inspected PV module after 20 min of SHT procedure

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Figure 7

Line profile analysis of the inspected PV module after 2 min of SHT procedure

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Figure 8

Line profile analysis of the inspected PV module after 20 min of SHT procedure

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