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New methods of PV module temperature measurement

t has long been known that temperature of photovoltaic panels has critical impact on efficiency and their failure-free work. Because of that, now we are more focused on temperature measurements of PV panels.
However we must remember that high temperature of PV panels can be caused by high temperatures of air or panels imperfections.

How air temperature can impact on temperature of PV panels?

Preheating of PV panels during hot days can lead to decrease of efficiency to about -0.45 percent per Celsius degree, what in case of large photovoltaic power stations can generate large losses of energy.
Because of that, we install temperature measurement systems more often.
New methods of PV module temperature measurement can, for example, inform us how much lower efficiency of the PV power station is generated by hot weather and how much it’s caused by malfunction of the power station. This information can also verify information from data sheets of our photovoltaic panels.

How to measure temperature of PV panels?

Today experts suggest many types of measurement devices to measure temperature of PV modules. Almost all of them are installed on the back of PV panels and they are not directly connected with semiconductor layer.
Because of that, the measurements can be not as precise as we want them to be and in case of cheap, poor quality devices they can be completely useless and lead us to wrong conclusions. So we always should choose high quality meters.

The most popular and most effective devices to constant measuring temperature of photovoltaic panels are thermocouples, meter that are based on two dissimilar metals or semiconductors.
To achieve precise measurement we need to install them in the center of our panels and shelter them from the wind and moisture. Those two factors can have impact of our temperature measurement.

New methods to fight with hot-spots

Second important factor that generates high temperature of photovoltaic panels are their imperfections that can cause hot-spots.
Hot-spots can lead not only to lower energy production by photovoltaic panels, but also they can damage whole installation, or even cause fire.  To avoid hot-spots we should test our photovoltaic panels with thermographic camera, which can easily and precisely detect hot-spots. Unfortunately, this method is easy only in case of small photovoltaic powers stations.
Testing large power stations can be very hard and may take a lot of time.

Luckily, nowadays we can implement modern technology like UAV or drones to examine our photovoltaic modules. Using those technologies will be much more precise. It will also save us a lot of time because the whole process can be automated..

The temperature of photovoltaic panels is one of the main factors that impacts the efficiency of photovoltaic panels. Because of that we should always try to monitor it properly. It will give us not only more precise predictions about energy production but also a chance to avoid PV plant malfunction.

Remember that cost of measurement system you can add to your financial analysis in our EasySolar app.