Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Ikhlas Abdul-Qader

Second Advisor

Dr. Bradley Bazuin

Third Advisor

Dr. Abdol Azim Houshyar

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Solar energy industry has been exponentially increasing over the past decades with solar panels sales recording significant growth mainly due to the fact that solar energy is a renewable clean source of energy. Similar to other systems, condition monitoring is essential to maintain high efficiency specially that these systems are still not scoring more than 46% efficiency and also to ensure a safe system and prevent electric and fire risks that may occur. In this work, we introduce a system using infrared thermography along with selected image processing techniques to effectively and non-destructively test and detect these defects. Hot spots are easily detected and it doesn’t need to shut-down these solar cell modules or built in sensors to achieve same objectives. Investigation also focused on detecting the panels’ boarders and isolate them from images’ background. Images were taken from real solar systems and results show that a real time system can be an effective automated system for fault detection.

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