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Photovoltaic Modules – faster quality testing

03-09-2010 10:18 AM CET | Energy & Environment

Press release from: SGS Electrical and Electronics

PV module

PV module

Previously many of PV module manufacturers had to queue at solar test institutes, waiting for months before their module testing could begin. But today by development of testing institutes and new laboratories all around the world, solar module qualification has never been quicker, which has led to the qualification to become a seller’s market.

The quick growth of the PV industry and endless enhancements in modules and materials has resulted in an increasing necessity for module qualification. Just a while ago it used to take the testing institutes months to deal with the vast demand because of minor capabilities.

Currently there have been many changes in all this and module qualification has sequentially become a buyer’s market. This is through several testing and certification super powers and leaders developing PV testing laboratories and the capacity of existing institutes has been extended gradually. At the moment there is enough capacity to cover the needs of the market and this certainly has many advantages for PV manufacturers.

Quality testing - faster

As more and more solar module qualification labs appear and fight for a share of the market, PV manufacturers have found themselves in a stronger position. This is great news, because every month PV manufacturers spend on module qualification means a delay to their product launch, which in turn means a loss of revenue.

At the same time quality testing is essential at this stage; if design flaws are not identified and remedied before the product’s launch on the market, they could cripple a manufacturer’s reputation and endanger his entire business. This is why the competition between testing institutes is focused on offering high quality testing and the shortest possible qualification times. If PV module qualification would previously have taken the better part of a year, today institutes Solar offer certification times ranging between 4 and 6 months. Testing labs are now on the verge of offering the shortest module qualification times possible, which are determined by the complex set of tests required by PV modules standards.

Minimizing the risk of faulty modules is as important as cutting qualification times. To ensure that their innovations in materials are successful, manufacturers are increasingly requesting certifications that cover energy output, material qualification, equipment appraisal and production quality management.

Catering to specific needs

The intense competition between PV module manufacturers motivates many to request certifications that go beyond the existing standards. Ultimately their goal is to produce high quality PV modules and increase their market share. The major developments happening on the PV modules testing and certification market already seem to be having a positive effect on the industry’s growth. To satisfy even the most complex testing and certification requirements, the SGS Solar Test House in Dresden (Germany) offers service packages that can be customized to suit all the specific needs of PV module manufacturers.

Combining its testing and certification capacities with the experience of SGS Institut Fresenius in the semiconductor industry, the SGS Solar Test House can identify failures occurring in PV modules and follow their root all the way into microscopic structures.
SGS can provide services for all stages of the photovoltaic life cycle.

For more information, please visit:

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 59,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.

SGS Electrical and Electronics
Jörn Brembach
Business Manager Photovoltaics
SGS Germany GmbH
t +49 35203 390 910

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