About this course

Along with the increasing popularity of solar PV systems comes the need for high-quality operations and maintenance (O&M). This is an area that is often overlooked but has been gaining attention in recent years. In this lecture, Dr. James Rand introduces infrared imaging (IR) technology and explains how it can be used to greatly improve solar PV O&M.

The use of infrared images is a well-known technique for building inspections and electrical trouble shooting. It is also very useful in diagnosing the health of PV modules working in the field.

Other than monitoring the overall array energy generation, IR imaging is one of the few techniques available to get detailed information on the health of PV modules after they are installed. This information can be critical in identifying both performance and safety issues. Many potential problems can be found and rectified before they significantly impact performance or generate an unsafe condition. A broad range of defects, including those related to manufacturing and workmanship details can be identified, if you know what to look for.

IR imaging is a powerful tool to access the health of modules while that operate in the array. It should be a routine part of all PV quality acceptance programs, as well as annual operations and maintenance programs.

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Learning Objectives

  • Introduce the infrared (IR) imaging technique.
  • Describe why IR imaging is a useful tool in the operation and maintenance of PV solar arrays.
  • Describe the array and weather conditions needed for IR imaging.
  • Understand typical PV failure modes and the signature IR image they generate.
  • Give general guidance on the severity of defects identified in the IR images.

Course outline

1 module • 6 assignments • 57 minutes of video lectures

Module 1 • 2 assignments
Infrared Imaging as a PV Characterization Tool

This lecture reviews the IR imaging technique as it applies to PV modules and discusses equipment, weather conditions, and array operating conditions. Approximately half of the lecture is devoted to real-world examples of IR images of defective modules. Participants will receive guidance on how to interpret IR images in order to determine what requires immediate attention versus what may be normal and expected for a functioning solar array.

  • Infrared Imaging as a PV Characterization Tool (57:05 minutes)
  • Inspecting Roof Mounted Solar Panels with Thermal Imaging - FLIR (.pdf)

Continuing Education Units

Approved for the following CEUs

  • NABCEP Advanced Credit Hours
  • NABCEP JTA
  • NABCEP RE Elective
  • NABCEP PV Associate Renewal

Approved NABCEP CEU Hours

NABCEP Credential Advanced Hours for Exam Recertification CEU Hours NEC JTA RE Elective Building or Fire Code
1 1 0 1 1 0
0 1 0 0 0 0
1 1 0 1 1 0
1 1 0 1 1 0
1 1 0 1 1 0
1 1 0 1 1 0

NABCEP Registered Provider

This course counts towards the training requirements for taking NABCEP professional certification exams and CEUs for renewing all certifications.

Author

  • Dr. James Rand

    Core Energy Works
    View profile

    Dr. James Rand has over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing, research, and development of solar energy products. His work spans the entire value chain, from raw materials to system level performance. His recent technical projects focused on testing and evaluation of solar modules for performance and long-term reliability. This work led to the formation of Core... Learn more

Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?
You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 1 module course is delivered entirely online. The lecture video and other materials are available any time. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.
How long do I have access to the materials?
Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.
Is there a certificate of completion?
Yes, when you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.
Can I register multiple people?
Yes please visit our HeatSpring for Teams page to get a group discount.

Reviews

4.7
Based on 94 reviews
135
students have taken this course
10/25/2023
Matt W
01/20/2023

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Ted Monhollon
05/09/2022

Great presentation! you are an awesome speaker and I felt fully engaged throughout the course.

Shannon James
Installer, Native Renewables

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