Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis of CIGS Thin Film PV Modules Using Thermography Analysis and IV Measurements

(*) Corresponding author

Authors' affiliations



This article reports on failure modes and effects analysis of CIGS thin-film modules in photovoltaic power plants. Common faults in a small photovoltaic power station consisting of 85 Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) PV modules are analyzed under outdoor conditions using infrared thermography inspection and current-voltage measurements. The statistical features extraction of thermal images is conducted for fault detections and diagnosis in correlation with IV measurement in order to understand the relation of modules power loss with its thermal signatures. The capability of the statistical feature extraction to identify modules with more than one fault has been improved by a careful analysis of their histograms and I-V measurements. A general classification matrix of CIGS for fault detection and diagnosis using statistical features and IV measurements is established. The matrix is very useful for the operation and the maintenance planning of PV plants.
Copyright © 2021 Praise Worthy Prize - All rights reserved.


CIGS Faults; Infrared and Thermal Image; IV Measurements; Statistical Feature Extraction

Full Text:



Thin-Film Photovoltaic (PV) Cells Market Analysis to 2020 - CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide) to Emerge as the Major Technology by 2020, Jun-2010, GBIAE0010MR.

Tsanakas, J. A., Ha, L., Buerhop, C, Faults, and infrared thermographic diagnosis in operating c-Si photovoltaic modules: a review of research and future challenges. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2016, 62, 695–709.

Du, B., Yang, R., He, Y., Wang, F., Huang, S, Nondestructive inspection, testing, and evaluation for Si-based, thin-film, and multi-junction solar cells: an overview. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 78, 2017, 1117–1151.

C. Buerhop, U. Jahn, U. Hoyer, B. Lerche, and S. Wittmann, the final report of the feasibility study for checking the quality of photovoltaic modules using infrared recordings, Bavaria, Erlangen, 2007 (accessed on 07.09.2020).
Available online:

Hajjaj, Charaf, et al., Degradation and performance analysis of a monocrystalline PV system without EVA encapsulating in a semi-arid climate, Heliyon 6.6 (2020): e04079.

Berardone, I., J. Lopez Garcia, and M. Paggi, Analysis of electroluminescence and infrared thermal images of monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic modules after 20 years of outdoor use in a solar vehicle, Solar Energy 173 (2018): 478-486.

Takyi, Gabriel, Correlation of infrared thermal imaging results with visual inspection and current-voltage data of PV modules installed in Kumasi, a hot, humid region of sub-Saharan Africa, Technologies 5.4 (2017): 67.

Alajmi, Masoud, et al., IR Thermal Image Analysis: An Efficient Algorithm for Accurate Hot-Spot Fault Detection and Localization in Solar Photovoltaic Systems, 2019 IEEE International Conference on Electro Information Technology (EIT). IEEE, 2019.

Glavaš, Hrvoje, et al. Infrared thermography in the inspection of photovoltaic panels. International Conference on Smart Systems and Technologies (SST). IEEE, 2017.

Lozanov, Y., Tzvetkova, S., & Petleshkov, A, Faults in photovoltaic modules, and possibilities for their detection by thermographic studies, 2019 11th Electrical Engineering Faculty Conference (BulEF).

J. A. Tsanakas, D. Chrysostomou, P.N. Botsaris & A. Gasteratos, Fault diagnosis of photovoltaic modules through image processing and Canny edge detection on-field thermographic measurements, International Journal of Sustainable Energy 2015, 34:6, 351-372.

E. Suresh Kumar, Bijan Sarkar, Nija K.S. Quality Improvement of PV Modules by Electroluminescence and Thermal Imaging, International Journal of Engineering and Advanced Technology (IJEAT) ISSN: 2249 – 8958, Volume-3, Issue-3, February 2014.

Qian, Xiaoliang, Zhang, Heqing, Yang, Cunxiang, Wu, Yuanyuan, He, Zhendong, Wu, Qing-E, Zhang, Huanlong., Micro-cracks detection of multi-crystalline solar cell surface based on self-learning features and low-rank matrix recovery, Sensor Review. 38, 2018,10.1108/SR-08-2017-0166.

Buerhop, C., Schlegel, D., Niess, M., Vodermayer, C., Weißmann, R., and Brabec, C.J., Reliability of IR-Imaging of PV-Plants under Operating Conditions, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells, Vol. 107, 2012, pp. 154–164,

John A. Tsanakas, Long D. Ha, F. Al Shakarchi, Advanced inspection of photovoltaic installations by aerial triangulation and terrestrial georeferencing of thermal/visual imagery, Renewable Energy 102 (2017) 224e233.

Tsanakas et al., fault diagnosis and classification of large-scale photovoltaic plants through aerial orthophoto thermal mapping, 31st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EUPVSEC), At Hamburg, Germany, 2015.

Uma, J., Muniraj, C., and Sathya, N., Diagnosis of Photovoltaic (PV) Panel Defects Based on Testing and Evaluation of Thermal Image, Journal of Testing and Evaluation, 2019, ISSN 0090-3973.

Slawomir Gutkowski, Natalia Zytkowska, and Piotr Dragan, Temperature distribution analysis of different technologies of PV modules using infrared thermography, E3S Web of Conferences 49, 00044 (2018)

Cubukcu, M., and A. Akanalci, Real-time inspection and determination methods of faults on photovoltaic power systems by thermal imaging in Turkey, Renewable Energy 147 (2020): 1231-1238.

Alsafasfeh, Moath, Ikhlas Abdel-Qader, and Bradley Bazuin., Fault detection in the photovoltaic system using SLIC and thermal images, 2017 8th International Conference on Information Technology (ICIT). IEEE, 2017

U. Hoyer et al., Analysis of PV modules by electroluminescence and IR thermography, in Proc. 24th EUPVSEC, 2009, pp. 3262–3266.

Muttillo, Mirco, et al, On-field infrared thermography sensing for PV system efficiency assessment: results and comparison with electrical models, Sensors 20.4 (2020): 1055.

Rezgui, W., Mouss, N., Mouss, L., Mouss, M., Amirat, Y., Benbouzid, M., Smart Algorithm Based on the Optimization of SVR Technique by k-NNR Method for the Prognosis of the Open-Circuit and the Reversed Polarity Faults in a PV Generator, (2015) International Review on Modelling and Simulations (IREMOS), 8 (1), pp. 18-25.

Rezgui, W., Mouss, K., Mouss, L., Mouss, M., Amirat, Y., Benbouzid, M., Optimization of SVM Classifier by k-NN for the Smart Diagnosis of the Short-Circuit and Impedance Faults in a PV Generator, (2014) International Review on Modelling and Simulations (IREMOS), 7 (5), pp. 863-870.

A.M. Diez-Suárez, D. de la Calzada-Lorenzo, A. González-Martínez, L. Álvarez-de Prado, Á. de la Puente-Gil, J.J. Blanes-Peiró and M. de Simón-Martín, Thin-film PV modules early degradation analysis: a case study on CIGS, RE&PQJ, Volume No.17, July 2019.

Claudia Buerhop, Tobias Pickel, Hans Scheuerpflug, Christian Dürschner, Christian Camus, Jens Hauch, Christoph J. Brabe, a IR-PV-check of thin-film PV-plants - Detection of PID and other defects in CIGS modules,32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 2016.

International Energy Agency IEA, Review on Failures of Photovoltaic Modules, Photovoltaic Power Systems Programmerter; Report IEA-PVPS T13-01:2013, 2013

IEC, Grid-connected photovoltaic systems – Minimum requirements for system documentation, commissioning tests, and inspection. 2009, IEC: Geneva, Switzerland.

Bengt Jaeckel, Bernhard Weinreich, Claudia Buerhop-Lutz, Ulrike Jahn, outdoor non-destructive infrared thermography of photovoltaic modules a plant for inspection, IEC 62446-3 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition 2016.

Ibarra-Castanedo C, Gonzalez D, Klein M, Pilla M, Vallerand S, Maldague XPV, Infrared image processing, and data analysis. Infrared Phys Technol 2004;46 (1–2):75–83.

Vergara S, Falcone O, Filtering and processing IR images of PV modules, In Proceedings of the international conference on renewable energies and power quality (ICREPQ). Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; 2011.

K. W. Jansen y A. E. Delahoy, A laboratory technique for the evaluation of electrochemical transparent conductive oxide delamination from glass substrates, Thin Solid Films, vol. 423, n.o 2, pp. 153-160, 2003

Rafael C. Gonzalez and Richard E. Woods, Digital Image Processing, Second Ed, Prentice-Hall, 2001. ISBN 0-20-118075-8

P. M. Ushasree and B. Bora, CHAPTER 1:Silicon Solar Cells, in Solar Energy Capture Materials, 2019, pp. 1-55.

Mohammad Reza Maghamiab, Hashim Hizamab, Chandima Gomesa, Mohd Amran Radzia, Mohammad Ismael Rezadadc, Shahrooz Hajighorbaniab, Power loss due to soiling on the solar panel: A review, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 59, June 2016, Pages 1307-1316.

Jawad Ahmad, Alessandro Ciocia, Stefania Fichera, Ali Faisal Murtaza, and Filippo Spertino, Detection of Typical Defects in Silicon Photovoltaic Modules and Application for Plants with Distributed MPPT Configuration, Energies 2019, 12, 4547.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Please send any question about this web site to
Copyright © 2005-2024 Praise Worthy Prize