Maintaining Solar PV systems: IV Curve Trace and Aerial Thermography

The industry’s best practice for testing the performance of solar panels has been to perform an IV Curve Trace test through the strings. This testing could help identify broken modules, improper polarity, correct number of panels per string, as well as identify loss due to soiling or shading. However, as system sizes get larger it becomes harder and more tedious to test the balance of strings. Performing an Aerial Thermography inspection via Drone and IR cameras has provided additional value to larger systems. Aerial Thermography can help identify hotspots, broken modules, underperforming strings, and potential losses through the use of its infrared cameras. By using Aerial Drone Thermography along with IV Curve Trace testing, service providers can provide higher clarity with larger sites, and identify potential issues quicker, while maximizing their customer’s investment by minimizing downtime.