Hot Spots: The Importance of Monitoring your Solar Panels for Their Timely Detection

Hot Spots: The Importance of Monitoring your Solar Panels for Their Timely Detection

What is a Hot Spot?

A hot spot is a located area of high temperature that affects a solar cell when it is covered by shadows (from trees or fireplaces, among other things) or by other objects or waste products (for example dirt or droppings). This causes the resistance of the solar cell; therefore, its area reaches high temperatures, exceeding 200 degrees Celsius. Technically, this happens when a solar cell of low current is part of a high current cell chain. The shaded cell reduces the current by means of the well-functioning cells and this leads to higher voltages.

Basically, the energy generating capacity of all the well-functioning photovoltaic cells fades into the shaded or dirty cell. The huge amount of lost energy that takes place in a small area results in a localized overheating or “hot spot”, which leads to harmful effects such as the cracking of the cells and of the panel. The SolarTracker monitoring system for solar panels allows the localization of hot spots and bypass diodes (main protective system against hot spots) eventual failures before they cause irreversible damage. The SolarTracker system measures the key variables of your solar plant so it can be constantly analyzing its performance, reporting at real time power losses due to cloudy days and system deterioration. All the solar plants monitored by SolarTracker feed our system with data that allows us to improve our predictive models. Join our network so you can enjoy all the benefits that we offer.

The Consequences of Not Detecting Hot Spots in Time

These type of failures can cause located irreversible processes, like damage in the cell area where the hot spot is (a breakdown and softening of the insulating material) and also at the whole system because it can cause a drop in the performance, a complete module destruction or even a fire. The energy output losses caused by a hot spot are low; nonetheless, it is important to be constantly monitoring the solar plant to take immediate action on this matter. That way you can avoid the mentioned issues, since they usually intensify until it reaches a point where the panel stops operating. When there is a Hot Spot in the module of a solar panel, it is recommended that you contact trained stuff so it can be fixed by them. However, there are ways to prevent this unpleasant situation for the energy generation.


Preventive Methods

To prevent a hot spot from developing in your solar power plant and avoiding its further complications, you should perform the following steps:

  • Make sure that the material of your solar panels is high quality (well-known and certified brands, with certified and transparent manufacturing processes).
  • Make sure that the shipping of the material is carried out with extreme precaution, for instance, in the PV modules specific case; they should be palletized with no extra weight above them.
  • Choose solar panels with a drainage system.
  • Do not step on the solar panel modules and follow the manufacturer instructions.
  • Perform a periodic maintenance of your solar panels.
  • Monitor the solar power plant permanently.

The SolarTracker system monitors the performance of your distributed solar systems and it provides key indicator reports and a full set of suggestions at any time so you can optimize your maintenance plan, maximizing the performance of your solar plants. If you follow this preventive actions and maintenance of your solar plant, you can avoid unnecessary expenses due to repairs since they allow you to effectively fight the development of a hot spot. Besides, this will help you to detect failures in time and take the necessary precautions to fix them. As a result, you can optimize the energy production of your solar panels, extend their lifespan and increase the return of investment.

What is a Hot Spot?

A hot spot is a located area of high temperature that affects a solar cell when it is covered by shadows (from trees or fireplaces, among other things) or by other objects or waste products (for example dirt or droppings). This causes the resistance of the solar cell; therefore, its area reaches high temperatures, exceeding 200 degrees Celsius. Technically, this happens when a solar cell of low current is part of a high current cell chain. The shaded cell reduces the current by means of the well-functioning cells and this leads to higher voltages.

Basically, the energy generating capacity of all the well-functioning photovoltaic cells fades into the shaded or dirty cell. The huge amount of lost energy that takes place in a small area results in a localized overheating or “hot spot”, which leads to harmful effects such as the cracking of the cells and of the panel. The SolarTracker monitoring system for solar panels allows the localization of hot spots and bypass diodes (main protective system against hot spots) eventual failures before they cause irreversible damage. The SolarTracker system measures the key variables of your solar plant so it can be constantly analyzing its performance, reporting at real time power losses due to cloudy days and system deterioration. All the solar plants monitored by SolarTracker feed our system with data that allows us to improve our predictive models. Join our network so you can enjoy all the benefits that we offer.

The Consequences of Not Detecting Hot Spots in Time

These type of failures can cause located irreversible processes, like damage in the cell area where the hot spot is (a breakdown and softening of the insulating material) and also at the whole system because it can cause a drop in the performance, a complete module destruction or even a fire. The energy output losses caused by a hot spot are low; nonetheless, it is important to be constantly monitoring the solar plant to take immediate action on this matter. That way you can avoid the mentioned issues, since they usually intensify until it reaches a point where the panel stops operating. When there is a Hot Spot in the module of a solar panel, it is recommended that you contact trained stuff so it can be fixed by them. However, there are ways to prevent this unpleasant situation for the energy generation.


Preventive Methods

To prevent a hot spot from developing in your solar plant and avoiding its further complications, you should perform the following steps:

  • Make sure that the material of your solar panels is high quality (well-known and certified brands, with certified and transparent manufacturing processes).
  • Make sure that the shipping of the material is carried out with extreme precaution, for instance, in the PV modules specific case; they should be palletized with no extra weight above them.
  • Choose solar panels with a drainage system.
  • Do not step on the solar panel modules and follow the manufacturer instructions.
  • Perform a periodic maintenance of your solar panels.
  • Monitor the solar power plant permanently.

The SolarTracker system monitors the performance of your distributed solar systems and it provides key indicator reports and a full set of suggestions at any time so you can optimize your maintenance plan, maximizing the performance of your solar plants. If you follow this preventive actions and maintenance of your solar plant, you can avoid unnecessary expenses due to repairs since they allow you to effectively fight the development of a hot spot. Besides, this will help you to detect failures in time and take the necessary precautions to fix them. As a result, you can optimize the energy production of your solar panels, extend their lifespan and increase the return of investment.

What is a Hot Spot?

A hot spot is a located area of high temperature that affects a solar cell when it is covered by shadows (from trees or fireplaces, among other things) or by other objects or waste products (for example dirt or droppings). This causes the resistance of the solar cell; therefore, its area reaches high temperatures, exceeding 200 degrees Celsius. Technically, this happens when a solar cell of low current is part of a high current cell chain. The shaded cell reduces the current by means of the well-functioning cells and this leads to higher voltages.

Basically, the energy generating capacity of all the well-functioning photovoltaic cells fades into the shaded or dirty cell. The huge amount of lost energy that takes place in a small area results in a localized overheating or “hot spot”, which leads to harmful effects such as the cracking of the cells and of the panel. The SolarTracker monitoring system for solar panels allows the localization of hot spots and bypass diodes (main protective system against hot spots) eventual failures before they cause irreversible damage. The SolarTracker system measures the key variables of your solar plant so it can be constantly analyzing its performance, reporting at real time power losses due to cloudy days and system deterioration. All the solar plants monitored by SolarTracker feed our system with data that allows us to improve our predictive models. Join our network so you can enjoy all the benefits that we offer.

The Consequences of Not Detecting Hot Spots in Time

These type of failures can cause located irreversible processes, like damage in the cell area where the hot spot is (a breakdown and softening of the insulating material) and also at the whole system because it can cause a drop in the performance, a complete module destruction or even a fire. The energy output losses caused by a hot spot are low; nonetheless, it is important to be constantly monitoring the solar plant to take immediate action on this matter. That way you can avoid the mentioned issues, since they usually intensify until it reaches a point where the panel stops operating. When there is a Hot Spot in the module of a solar panel, it is recommended that you contact trained stuff so it can be fixed by them. However, there are ways to prevent this unpleasant situation for the energy generation.


Preventive Methods

To prevent a hot spot from developing in your solar power plant and avoiding its further complications, you should perform the following steps:

  • Make sure that the material of your solar panels is high quality (well-known and certified brands, with certified and transparent manufacturing processes).
  • Make sure that the shipping of the material is carried out with extreme precaution, for instance, in the PV modules specific case; they should be palletized with no extra weight above them.
  • Choose solar panels with a drainage system.
  • Do not step on the solar panel modules and follow the manufacturer instructions.
  • Perform a periodic maintenance of your solar panels.
  • Monitor the solar power plant permanently.

The SolarTracker system monitors the performance of your distributed solar systems and it provides key indicator reports and a full set of suggestions at any time so you can optimize your maintenance plan, maximizing the performance of your solar plants. If you follow this preventive actions and maintenance of your solar plant, you can avoid unnecessary expenses due to repairs since they allow you to effectively fight the development of a hot spot. Besides, this will help you to detect failures in time and take the necessary precautions to fix them. As a result, you can optimize the energy production of your solar panels, extend their lifespan and increase the return of investment.

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