The continuous growth of the solar industry brings an ever-expanding base of solar installations. While many solar panels are expected to provide a 20-year life span, this is often not the case with cheaper quality solar panels but even high-quality panel can fail prematurely. thermography technology can save time and make troubleshooting solar panel installations an easy and cost-effective service. Thermal imaging cameras look for panel hotspots. Overheated cells can damage the casing material and cause delamination. When modules overheat due to shading, defective cells, or substrings these overheating components consume energy instead of producing energy, the module efficiency can drop by around .5% per degree Celcius. Where do the hotspots come from? Shade on the module or a defective cell can change the module from power production to power consumption resulting in heating the cell which will show as a hotspot in a thermal image. A defective or mismatched bypass diode may cause the same effect.

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