PVQAT - Internaltional PV Quality Assurance Task Force
 

News

This page summaries the latest IEC/RE news for the International PV Quality Assurance Task Force.

Application process available for IECRE certification and inspection bodies

November 22, 2016

IECRE is accepting applications for organizations wishing to be accredited to be a IECRE certification body (RECB) and/or inspection body (REIB).

Requirements for RECB and REIB
Organizations wishing to issue certificates or work for inspection for IECRE Certificates "Conditional PV project certificate" (issued at the initiation of operation of a plant) and "Annual PV plant performance certificate" (issued to document performance of a PV plant after the first - or later - year of performance) should visit IECRE04 (PV-OMC Rules of Procedure). Specifically, the following sections can be used to identify roles and responsibilities of the RECB/REIB and rules and processes for acceptance:

  • 5.1 Role and responsibility of the RECB and REIB
  • 5.3 Acceptance
  • 5.4 Application for Acceptance
  • 5.6 Initial Acceptance for Starting Operation of the System

IECRE04 is posted

  1. Application for Initial Acceptance
    An application for the acceptance of a RECB and REIB for one or more IECRE Categories shall be approved by the responsible IECRE-MB endorsed by its Member Body of the IECRE. The Member Bodies are designated by country.

    To apply for this initial approval, REIBs and RECBs should complete a self-assessment & submit with completed application form to the PV-OMC. After June, 2017, the application process will change slightly. The application shall be provided to the IECRE Secretary.

    Note: an application to seek REIB participation for solar inspections can only be made if the IECRE-MB is recognized as a member of the IECRE Solar PV Energy Sector.

  2. Forms for Application
    Use the following two forms for your application.

If you have questions about this procedure for application from the United States, contact George Kelly.

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Application process available for IEC 62941 Factory auditor

November 22, 2016

IECRE is accepting applications for organizations wishing to be accredited to be a Factory Auditor for IEC 62941.

  1. Requirements for the IEC 62941 Factory Auditors
    Organizations or personnel wishing to execute factory audits for certification to IEC 62941 "Terrestrial PV modules - Guideline for increased confidence in PV module design qualification and type approval" as a Factory Auditor should visit PV-OMC OD405-3 to identify requirements and auditor application and qualification processes.
    OD 405-3 is posted at http://www.iecre.org/documents/refdocs/pdf/od-405-3ed1.0.pdf

  2. Application process
    Please submit the application to the responsible IECRE Member Body (REMB)
    (or its designated representative Certification Body (RECB) nominated to participate in the IECRE System by one or more REMBs), accompanied by the applicable documentation. The Member Bodies are designated by country and can be found at http://www.iecre.org/members/bodies/.
    The REMB (or its designated representative RECB) will decide on the eligibility upon confirmation that the credentials and past experience meet the requirements, as described in Annex A of OD 405-3.

  3. Forms for Application
    Use the following form defined in PV-OMC OD405-3 for your application.
    OD405-3 is posted at http://www.iecre.org/documents/refdocs/pdf/od-405-3ed1.0.pdf

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IEC 61730 Edition 2 Published

August 17, 2016

A new edition of IEC 61730 "Photovoltaic (PV) module safety qualification" was published in August 2016.

IEC 61730 Edition 2 technical changes with respect to Edition 1 include multiple changes to improve alignment with other IEC standards including:

  • Implementation of insulation coordination, overvoltage category, classes, pollution degree (PD), and material groups (MG).
  • Definition of creepage (cr), clearance (cl) and distance through insulation (dti).
  • Inclusion of IEC 60664 and IEC 61140.
  • Implementation of component qualification.
  • IEC Guide 108 Guidelines for ensuring the coherency of IEC publications – Application of horizontal standards.

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Background information

Questions and Answers about Standards for Photovoltaic Modules

August 2016

When I buy a PV module, what should I look for? What standardized testing is recommended for PV modules?

IEC 61730 "Photovoltaic (PV) module safety qualification" (or UL 1703 "Standard for Flat-Plate Photovoltaic Modules and Panels") is a safety test, designed to identify PV module designs that can be used safely.  In the US, UL 1703 has been the national PV safety standard; it is being harmonized with IEC 61730. Starting sometime in 2017, the primary difference between certification to UL 1703 and to IEC 61730 will pertain to testing for fire resistance.

IEC 61215 "Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules - Design qualification and type approval" (or UL 61215) is a set of accelerated and performance tests to qualify a PV module design for production. This should be a minimum test expected for any PV module. The testing varies slightly depending on the technology as described in the different parts: silicon (Part 1-1), cadmium telluride (Part 1-2), amorphous silicon (Part 1-3), Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 (Part 1-4), flexible modules (Part 1-5). Concentrator PV testing is described in IEC 62108.

IEC 62941 "Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules - Guideline for increased confidence in PV module design qualification and type approval" is designed to ensure that the PV modules are manufactured consistently to provide the customer with the advertised performance and lifetime.

IEC 61215 Edition 3 Published
March 9, 2016

A new edition of IEC 61215 "Terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) modules - Design qualification and type approval" was published in March 2016.

IEC 61215 Edition 3 technical changes with respect to Edition 2 include:

  • The document was divided into two primary parts: Part 1 lists general requirements and Part 2 defines testing.
  • IEC 61646 was merged with IEC 61215 by including light exposure (pre-conditioning) procedures that are technology specific in a set of documents: silicon (Part 1-1), cadmium telluride (Part 1-2), amorphous silicon (Part 1-3), and Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 (Part 1-4). Customers who previously requested IEC 61646 testing should now request testing to IEC 61215.
  • The marking requirements for nameplate and general documentation have been better defined.
  • Pass/fail criteria have been divided into two "gates." Gate #1 verifies the accuracy of the nameplate rating initially and gate #2 defines the acceptable power loss after accelerated aging testing.
  • The hot-spot endurance test was revised with the intention of reducing the frequency of observing problems related to reverse bias of cells in the field.
  • Replacement of NOCT (nominal operating cell temperature) with NMOT (nominal module operating temperature) to reflect the operating temperature of the module under the appropriate bias condition.
  • Robustness of terminations test includes evaluation of both cables and junction boxes.