Solar Farm Thermal Drone Survey for Hobsons Brewery

Hobsons Brewery has a 30kW solar panel on its facility, spanning over 3 small buildings. Each solar cell has its own driver chip, its own circuitry, so it isn’t run in series.

We ran a routine inspection of the panels and found a total of 4 faulty panels which can be easily distinguished by their temperature. With a thermal camera on a drone you can find heat anomalies in a fraction of the time.

Most problems will show as a hot spot or cold spot although defective bypass diodes display as a ‘patchwork’ pattern. In the images displayed on this project, you can see the patchwork of overheating elements and heat damage on the panels. One of the faulty panels the temperature variation was between 35°C and 65°C for the hotter parts.

Amongst other things, we were also able to see the typical bird droppings and a few chips on the glass protecting on some of the solar cells.