Nowadays one of the most consolidated inspection methods for photovoltaic (PV) systems is the use of drones. PV modules installed in the last decade show now a quite wide range of defects able to sensibly compromise the performance of the plant. This paper aims to provide a quite comprehensive overview of typical defects observed after an extensive flight campaign in North of Italy made by light multicopter unmanned aerial vehicles over different types of PV plants. The objective of this investigation is to summarize the most observed detectable faults and to give some data of their frequency. Different kinds of sensors have been installed onboard and some peculiarities will be emphasized with respect to the visible, in-field measurements and IR-collected data. The results of this campaign will be discussed in order to provide a clear idea of potential impact of unmanned technology in this sector for future decades.
- PV module faults
- PV monitoring and control
- unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)