SENSE Software is a leading software solution provider for the thermal imaging industry. The development team has more than five years of experience in the sector. The company gained experience providing a complete generic software package Thermal Studio for thermography analysis and reporting distributed by Teledyne-FLIR, a leading thermal camera manufacturer. 

SENSE’s products are widely applicable and used globally in the energy sector, especially in thermal inspections.

Interview with Aleksander Burwiel, Head of Sales at SENSE Software.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Aleksander Burwiel: Having extensive experience, in 2020 we began working on a tool for automated photovoltaics inspections – an AI-based solution for detecting solar panel defects from thermal images and generating sophisticated inspection summary reports. We are releasing the software at the end of August 2023.

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

A.B: Our mission is to serve society with innovative solutions increasing safety, environmental sustainability and green energy production efficiency. We rely on thermal imaging technology to develop systems based on Artificial Intelligence, automating a wide range of time-consuming processes. 

With our expertise and rich background in the sector, we want to serve our customers with accurate, time-saving and customized tools that can help in their profession. Wherever thermal imaging has its use, we can help!

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

A.B: Solar plant owners are primarily interested in receiving information on the performance of components of photovoltaic systems to avoid losses due to the reduced energy intensity of the installation. The need to wait for a prolonged period for an inspection report generates losses for them. It is necessary to locate problems efficiently before they worsen, as the electrical installation can fail and cause fire, electrocution and damage to infrastructure.

The quality and speed of report preparation depend on the human factor, which is the quality and speed of the inspector analyzing the material collected during the inspection. 

Defects in photovoltaic panels during the production phase can cause them to wear out earlier than expected. Several years after a panel has started operating (perhaps even months or weeks later), these defects in the panel cells become apparent. It is estimated that losses due to faulty photovoltaic panels can be responsible for 22% to 28% of the net energy efficiency loss of a given solar power plant.

The most significant component in photovoltaic panel systems is the photovoltaic module, which can sometimes be relatively difficult to diagnose. The main problem is that all modules look very similar, although their quality is quite different. Defects in the modules are usually invisible to the naked eye and should be detected quickly. Therefore, the installations require regular monitoring. We have identified the need for faster defect detection in solar panels and their categorization. One of the main factors in reducing the maintenance costs of panel systems is the extension of their lifetime, so accurate measurement and monitoring methods are required to identify failures of photovoltaic panel modules. 

Furthermore, the rapid detection of solar panel module failures ensures the sustainable life and performance of the panel system. The sooner the inspector provides a report to the customer, the sooner the service team can verify possible faults, and the sooner they can react and prevent critical system failures. An appropriate solution for mentioned issues is examining the condition of photovoltaic panels with an artificial intelligence system that automatically identifies defects.

Solar SENSE is an integrated platform offering the service of automatic detection of faults of solar panels based on thermograms using self-developed neural network revolutionary algorithms. The analysis of thermographic images will be performed in a unique way. Thanks to the use of data from thermographic images, using artificial intelligence, anomalies occurring in solar panels will be automatically detected and classified. Thanks to the defect classification module, the user will be able to obtain information about the technical condition of individual panels, which will significantly improve the process of repair and replacement of photovoltaic systems.

Our users will access the solution directly using a dedicated web platform. After uploading thermal images from an inspection, our AI system will take care of the rest, automatically processing and analyzing thermal images and generating summary reports.
Solar SENSE platform is dedicated to, first and foremost, solar inspectors.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

A.B: We directly offer customized software solutions utilizing thermal imaging technology and radiometric data. Our software solutions are used primarily in the energy sector, and they provide a wide range of functions to support analysis, processing, editing and documenting large batches of thermal images.

Nevertheless, we can deliver custom, highly specialized solutions for a request – for example, dedicated software for thermal heating networks inspections or security system utilizing thermal imaging cameras.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

A.B: The solar power and thermal inspection market are far from being matured and indicate dynamic growth in the upcoming years. Renewable energy trends and the increasing availability of thermal imaging technology are favorable for our primary markets, creating strong demand for our products. The competition for our solutions is still behind, providing semi-automated solutions that rely heavily on human effort.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

A.B: Our market is not an exception when it comes to AI adoption. We believe there will be more and more sophisticated solutions automating processes in the energy sector. It is the top trend we can currently observe.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

A.B: Solar SENSE will be our most innovative product marketed. Also, the solution capabilities make it revolutionary globally, as no other solution provides the same spectrum of functionality.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

A.B: Being mid-2023, we have a realistic overview for the next six months. With the grand premiere of Solar SENSE around the corner, we will focus on introducing the solution to the market via our already-established presence. The goal is to maintain dialogue with the industry and assist our early adopters. We will approach our targeted markets in Europe and the US, estimated at approximately 50k inspectors. It will be a busy season.