Composite and Smart Materials Laboratory (CSML), University of Ioannina
The main role of the University of Ioannina (UOI) is to develop a method of characterizing photovoltaics (PVs) using thermography. Through IR thermography, in situ PV testing will be performed (at cell, array and panel level) first at a laboratory scale and then at a PV park level. More specifically, at the laboratory level UΟI will (i) take thermograms from healthy and defective PVs (with different types of faults / defects), (ii) study, with the help of a solar simulator, the electrical response of PVs at the cell level in relation to the exposure time, (iii) generate the nominal I/V (current / voltage) curves of healthy and defective PVs in light and in the dark, (iv) calculate the efficiency coefficient of PVs and its behavior in relation to the exposure time, and (v) study the possible correlations between the thermograms, the I/V curves and the efficiency factor of the PVs in order to extract useful quantification indices of the degradation of the PVs. Finally, in cooperation with all partners, it will lead the integration / completion process, the installation of the developed system prototype in the PV park, and the pilot operation of the system towards its final evaluation.
Computer Systems Lab, University of Thessaly
The main role of the University of Thessaly (UTH) in the project is the design, implementation and support of the software for the autonomous aerial monitoring system of PV park. More specifically, UTH will develop (i) the software that will run on the drone to control the autopilot, take thermographic images of the PV modules and transmit them to a base station (controller), (ii) the software of the base station (controller) and the hangar for the automated coordination of the mission, including take off, landing and charging, and (iii) the remote control application for the user / system administrator. Also, UTH will participate in the definition of the project’s specifications and the integration of the developed software in the system prototype for the pilot tests.
The main role of GeoSense is (i) the integration of a high-resolution thermal camera to the drone, through which the required thermography of the PV park will be done and (ii) the development of a hangar / charging base which will be equipped with a variety of sensors for measuring environmental parameters (e.g., brightness, temperature, humidity) that will be used to detect in real time the conditions that affect the thermography results (e.g., adequacy of sunlight, strong clouds, rain, wind).
The main role of PaEn is to specify the functionality and requirements of the system, while in addition it will provide the PV park for the pilot tests and the evaluation of the integrated system. Thus, the company’s aim in the project is twofold. First, the optimization of the status control and troubleshooting operations of the PV parks, in order to maximize their production and operation (uptime). Secondly, the commercial utilization of the final developed system having as main market the investors and installers of large PV parks (larger than 5MW) all over the world.
K-REN will provide an existing PV monitoring platform and will extend the developed software by integrating the aerial monitoring system using IR thermography in order to detect / categorize defects / problems in the operation of the PV modules with higher accuracy.