Hotspots Detection in Photovoltaic Modules Using Infrared Thermography
1 Ateneo de Manila University, Department of Electronics, Computer, and Communications Engineering, Quezon City, Philippines
2 Ateneo de Davao University, ECE Department, School of Engineering and Architecture, Davao City, Philippines
An increased interest on generating power from renewable sources has led to an increase in solar photovoltaic (PV) system installations worldwide. Power generation of such systems is affected by factors that can be identified early on through efficient monitoring techniques. This study developed a non-invasive technique that can detect localized heating and quantify the area of the hotspots, a potential cause of degradation in photovoltaic systems. This is done by the use of infrared thermography, a well-accepted non-destructive evaluation technique that allows contactless, real-time inspection. In this approach, thermal images or thermograms of an operating PV module were taken using an infrared camera. These thermograms were analyzed by a Hotspot Detection algorithm implemented in MATLAB. Prior to image processing, images were converted to CIE L*a*b color space making k-means clustering implementation computationally efficient. K-means clustering is an iterative technique that segments data into k clusters which was used to isolate hotspots. The devised algorithm detected hotspots in the modules being observed. In addition, average temperature and relative area is provided to quantify the hotspot. Various features and conditions leading to hotspots such as crack, junction box and shading were investigated in this study.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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