UAV-based thermal monitoring of solar panels for different topographic conditions

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Semih Sami Akay
Orkan Özcan
Okan Özcan
Ömer Yetemen


The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used to monitor photovoltaic (PV) systems, specifically focusing on their integration with thermal imaging technology. The process involves equipping UAVs with integrated thermal cameras to capture aerial photographs, which are then used to generate thermal orthomosaic. These thermal data play a crucial role in efficiency calculations for solar panels in solar farms. The integration of UAVs with thermal imaging technology offers several advantages. It provides a rapid and cost-effective solution for monitoring solar farms where human resources may be limited. The use of thermal orthomosaic instead of multiple thermal aerial photographs streamlines the data collection process, allowing for efficient temperature and efficiency calculations. The temperatures and efficiencies of solar panels in different geographic directions in solar farms were rapidly examined using UAV. It has been calculated that temperatures vary more significantly based on direction than efficiencies. Although solar panels have regional temperature differences of approximately 1 to 8°C, panel efficiency was within 1%. Therefore, there might be directional temperature differences in solar farm, panel efficiencies were similar during winter months.


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Akay, S. S., Özcan, O. ., Özcan, O. ., & Yetemen, Ömer. (2024). UAV-based thermal monitoring of solar panels for different topographic conditions. Advanced UAV, 4(1), 53–61. Retrieved from


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