ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume X-1-2024
09 May 2024
 | 09 May 2024

A method for detecting photovoltaic panel faults using a drone equipped with a multispectral camera

Ran Duan and Zhenling Ma

Keywords: Photovoltaic power stations, hot spot detection, UAVs, visible and infrared images

Abstract. Photovoltaic power stations utilizing solar energy, have grown in scale, resulting in an increase in operational maintenance requirements. Efficient inspection of components within these stations is crucial. However, the large area of photovoltaic power generation, coupled with a substantial number of photovoltaic panels and complex geographical environments, renders manual inspection methods highly inefficient and inadequate for modern photovoltaic power stations. To address this issue, this paper proposes a method and system for hot spot detection on photovoltaic panels using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with multispectral cameras. The UAVs capture visible and infrared images of the photovoltaic power plant, which are then processed for photogrammetry to determine imaging position and attitude. The infrared images are stitched together using this information, forming a geographically referenced overall image. Hot spot detection is performed on the infrared images, enabling the identification of faulty photovoltaic panels and facilitating efficient inspection and maintenance. Experimental trials were conducted at a photovoltaic power station in Qingyuan, Guangdong Province China. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method in accurately detecting panels with hot spot faults.