Carlill Energy is using FLIR i7 thermal cameras to detect problems in their solar power plants in Punjab, India.

Carlill Energy, a frontrunner in the development of solar power plants in the state of Punjab, India is successfully using FLIR thermal imaging cameras to detect and identify problems with photovoltaic cells, junction boxes and grid network connections at a very early stage. 

The company has already installed a solar plant capacity of 1.5 MW across the state with the latest plant commissioned in February 2012 in Muktsar (Eastern Punjab), in conformance with the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) directives. The plant has a very high PR value among the many different solar power plants in the state of Punjab. 

Early detection and inspection of diode boxes

Following an issue with a failed diode box in the recent past, Carlill Energy sought a solution that would be able to provide advance warning so that they could take precautionary measures. After a thorough research of the marketplace and based on feedback from industry professionals, they chose a FLIR thermal imaging camera supplied by FLIR’s distributor M/s Industrial Agencies based in Chandigarh, India. 

M/s Industrial Agencies also trained Carlill Energy’s maintenance staff, in the course of which three major hot spots in junction boxes were observed. According to the maintenance staff, the failure of these connections could have hampered the plant’s power generation as well as the company’s PR. 

Strong performance, wide range of applications

The Carlill Energy management team was enthusiastic about the performance of the FLIR i7 camera, and went on to invest in a total of three FLIR i7 cameras. Apart from the identification of issues with diode boxes, Carlill Energy is also using the FLIR i7 thermal imaging camera for detecting problems in PV cells and the grid network connections/ terminations.

According to Mr Satnam Singh, Maintenance Manager at Carlill Energy, the FLIR i7 thermal imager helps him identify problematic areas and ensure flawless supply of electricity to the grid, resulting in an increase in the overall return on investment of the company for this plant.

FLIR i7 thermal imaging camera

One of the smallest, lightest and most affordable thermal imaging cameras on the market, the FLIR i7 is very easy to use and ideal for entry-level users. The camera’s ‘point-shoot-detect’ operation helps obtain high-quality thermal images that will immediately give the user the required thermal information. 

The FLIR i7 produces instant, point-and-shoot JPEG thermal imagery that carries all required temperature data to be stored internally or externally, or sent and analysed. Weighing only 365g, the camera is easy to store in a belt pouch. Designed to withstand a 2m drop, the camera is also water-splash proof and IP43 rated. Reporting and analysis software is included.