TUV Rheinland Introduces New Testing Services to PV Module Manufacturers

Jul 02, 2012, 16:59 ET from TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC

TEMPE, Ariz., July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TUV Rheinland PTL, North America's largest solar and photovoltaic (PV) testing company, is introducing new services to test the quality and safety of components, modules and solar energy systems at Intersolar North America, booth # 8628. These include testing of PV modules depending on their specific application; testing criteria stricter than the criteria mandated by the official standard; and continuous testing of the manufacturer's production process and products.

The company offers new tests to evaluate performance of PV modules depending on where they are used. These requirements include salt spray tests for modules installed in coastal regions, ammonia tests for modules installed in agricultural areas, various snow load tests, and the initial criteria of a testing program for modules in deserts.

TUV Rheinland has also developed new services that go beyond the basic design certifications according to IEC 61215 or IEC 61646. The company is now performing regular, often unannounced, production inspections when certifying the designs of new manufacturers. TUV Rheinland specialists also select modules for laboratory tests directly from production rather than accepting items provided by the manufacturer, as set out in the standards.

To further enhance performance reliability and safety of PV modules, TUV Rheinland established a "Power Controlled" test seal. It stands for continuous testing of the manufacturer's production process and products to verify that they perform as promised. In the first stage, TUV Rheinland specialists perform annual on-site checks at the manufacturer's plant to determine if the quality requirements for measuring the module power output are met during production. In the second stage, the power output of the manufactured modules themselves is tested. To do so, TUV Rheinland experts take randomly selected modules directly from production once a quarter.

Additionally, TUV Rheinland supports the development of building-integrated PV (BIPV) modules on a roof or facade. The company's specialists play a key role in developing appropriate standards for BIPV and are working on test scenarios, such as impermeability in driving rain, sound protection, fire prevention and thermal insulation.

For more information, visit www.tuvptl.com or call 1-TUV-RHEINLAND (888-743-4652).

About TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC

Based in Tempe, Ariz., TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC is a leading provider of safety and performance testing and market certification, serving every sector of the photovoltaic and solar thermal marketplace, from the supply chain through installation. TUV Rheinland PTL is a recognized OSHA NRTL for the UL standards and an ANSI Standards Developing Organization. TUV Rheinland PTL was formed as a unique partnership between Arizona State University, an institution with more than 50 years of research on solar energy and extensive solar testing know-how, and TUV Rheinland, a $1.9 billion global provider of independent testing, assessment, and certification services. TUV Rheinland maintains the largest network of Solar Energy Laboratories worldwide, with five major laboratories on three continents.