Ingenium Research Group (University of Castilla-La Mancha), in collaboration with Ingeteam, is leading a project to optimize the performance of photovoltaic plants through an innovative intelligent analysis tool. Thie objective is the implementation of new monitoring systems with drones to increase the reliability and the lifetime of photovoltaic installations.

Reliable analytics for Photo Voltaic Plants: RA4PV” project aims to develop an aerial navigation system  for solar panel diagnostics, and the implementation of the new inspection model on an online platform, providing tools for decision making during operation and maintenance activities.

The project will focus on the development of new technologies in monitoring and signal processing to obtain reliable thermal data to classify and quantify the severity of the defect, due to the development of novel data processing algorithms. The performance of the monitoring system is increased with an innovative positioning system installed in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone), allowing the reduction of errors and unwanted measurements and ensuring that the drone is analyzing the area desired by the operator. This new system will be composed of an UAV with the capacity to inspect large areas and carry different sensors or cameras, algorithms for identification, quantification and classification of defects or anomalies that cause a reduction in performance, e.g. hot spots or dirt.

The development of a platform based on Internet of the Things (IoT) alows the access to the services developed from any location through Internet connection in real time. The user can upload the inspection information to the platform designed and developed in the project to perform online processing of the data, obtaining a report as main result, with the location and identification of the defects present in solar panels.

R4PV have a duration of 3 years and it will end in September 2023. This project has been funded by the “Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación” through the “Agencia Estatal de Investigación”, with the call for R+D+I Projects “Retos Colaboración” of the “Programa Estatal de Invesigación, Desarrollo e Innovación Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad”, within the framework of the “Plan Estatal de Investigación Cientifica y técnica y de Innovación 2017 -2020”.