Due to weathering and external forces, solar panels are subject to fouling and defects after a certain amount of time in service. These fouling and defects have direct adverse consequences such as low-power efficiency. Because solar power plants usually have large-scale photovoltaic (PV) panels, fast detection and location of fouling and defects across large PV areas are imperative. A drone-mounted infrared thermography system was designed and developed, and its ability to detect rapid fouling on large-scale PV panel systems was investigated. The infrared images were preprocessed using the neighbor mean filter, and the single PV module on each image was recognized and extracted. Combining the local and global detection method, suspicious sites were located precisely. The results showed the flexible drone-mounted infrared thermography system to have a strong ability to detect the presence and determine the position of PV fouling. Drone-mounted infrared thermography also has good technical feasibility and practical value in the detection of PV fouling detection.