[PV Robot Front Line] Panel Inspection Robot by Atox (page 3)
Inspection services based on 'robot management' expertise
Fig 4: Configuration of PV module inspection robot prototype (source: Lectures/papers on solar/wind power energy, 2013 "Development of PV Module Inspection Robot" Noboru Yamada, Toshiya Tadaumi, Kazuhiko Kato, et al.)
Fig 5: Mechanism of turning by a rotating plate (source: Lectures/papers on solar/wind power energy, 2013 "Development of PV Module Inspection Robot" Noboru Yamada, Toshiya Tadaumi, Kazuhiko Kato, et al.)
The "lattices" represent 2 to 4 electrode wires (bus bar electrodes) that exist in boundaries between cells (power generation element) or in cells. The vertical lines are support lines for straight travel, and the support line angle is corrected to zero after the start of turning. Meanwhile, the horizontal lines are used to estimate the position of the current cell against the original position, which is estimated based on the number of vertical lines the robot has crossed.
The prototype inspection robot cannot be used on thin-film panels made of CIS or amorphous (non-crystalline) silicon or back-contact-type crystalline silicon panels because these panels do not have bus bar electrode wires on the surface.
Mapping soundness of conductivity of each cell
The "cell line checker," faulty module identification equipment manufactured by Togami Electric MFG Co Ltd, is mounted on the front area of the robot to check for abnormalities in panels. The inspection sensor is mounted on an arm and can be moved to an arbitrary cell position (Fig 6). The inspection system is also used by Kazuhiko Kato at AIST, and the system has already been used for actual conductivity inspections.
A transmitter is installed in advance in the array connection terminal box, and a minor signal current is flowed in to receive the induction field generated in the module by the sensor. The wiring condition is obtained from the receiving sensitivity, and the conductivity of each cell is evaluated and mapped in three levels: "conductivity," "to be observed" and "no conductivity."
According to the explanation, inspection methods other than the conductivity inspection method are planned to be developed in the future and mounted on the robot to realize a variety of inspection methods. Also, currently, communication with the laptop PC is done via a cable, but the cable will be eliminated to realize wireless communication. At the same time, the system will be improved by downsizing and weight reduction.