It's not a secret that weather is an important factor when we talk about thermography of solar modules. Weather can affect the thermal data dramatically. The most optimal weather conditions to conduct thermal inspections on solar sites, are clear and sunny days with low wind speeds. Favourable weather conditions are necessary for producing the best thermal inspection data. That is why Sitemark adds weather properties to the thermal anomalies in Sitemark Fuse.

By having weather information in the thermal anomaly properties, you will be able to

  • upload weather data from different sensor sources and combine them if needed.

  • validate the environmental conditions from the inspection.

  • consult the Normalised Delta Temperature property to make even better improvement decisions.

  • compare severity of hotspots, based on the normalised delta temperature.

  • report the weather details per anomaly.

For example, when there are a lot of clouds, the irradiance received by a solar module is low. That affects the amount of current produced and going through the module. That also means that it is harder to distinguish good from bad solar cells when doing thermal inspections. That is also the main reason why the IEC standard states that you need a minimum irradiance of 600 W/m² to perform effective thermal inspections on solar modules. Not only irradiance, but also the air temperature and the windspeed will have an effect on the thermography.

Which are the weather properties in Sitemark Fuse?

The following table is showing the different weather properties that you can find in the property list from every thermal anomaly.

Property

Unit

Supported Sources

Wind Speed

meter/second [m/s]

Pyranometer, Satellite

Wind Direction

degrees [°]

Pyranometer, Satellite

Air Temperature

degrees Celsius [°C] or degrees Fahrenheit [°F]

Pyranometer, Handheld, Satellite

Relative Humidity

percentage [%]

Pyranometer, Satellite

Global Titled Irradiance (GTI)

Watt/square meter [W/m²]

Pyranometer, Handheld, Satellite

Which data sources does Sitemark Fuse accept?

You can upload weather data that comes from a pyranometer or a handheld device. Simply said a pyranometer is a device that measures solar irradiance from a hemispherical field of view on a flat surface. There are different pyranometer and hand held brands and models out there in the market, that can measure these weather properties. But it is important to have this data, as the recorded data can be used to add weather information to the anomalies.

ℹ️ Weather data from satellite sources is not supported yet. It is very challenging to get accurate data, because you need to have good knowledge of the geometry, orientation and tilt of the panels to get an accurate estimate of the Global Titled Irradiance coming from satellite sources.

How can I upload the weather data?

At any point in time, even when the operation has already been completed, users can upload their own weather dataset to their operations on Sitemark Fuse.

Watch the following video to learn how to do it.

  1. Select Handheld Device or Pyranometer.

  2. Click Import from file.

  3. Select the corresponding .CSV file in your file explorer.

  4. Match the column header with the correct data.

  5. Unselect rows that you do not want to import.

  6. Click Import Weather Data.

Sitemark Fuse will extract the relevant weather information from the uploaded dataset based on the time stamp in the anomaly and will save those weather details in the anomaly properties.

ℹ️ If the user purchase the optional IEC guarantee from Sitemark, the pilot will upload irradiance data from his handheld device when uploading the photos. Please talk to your sales manager to make sure you have the right product and service ordered.

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