Manufacturing Consistency: Task Group 1
Task Group 1 leads the manufacturing consistency efforts for the International Photovoltaic Quality Assurance Task Force. It started with developing a guideline for factory inspections and quality assurance during module manufacturing, followed by securing consistency for power conversion equipment manufacturing, and quality of installation and operations and maintenance services.
Complementary efforts are underway to support module durability, system verification, and communication of results.
Task Group 1 completed a guideline published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as IEC TS 62941:2016, which focuses on photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing processes and procedures aiming to ensure manufacturing quality and the consistency of the produced PV modules to the warranties given by the producer. The International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO’s) standard ISO 9001:2015 is considered a starting point for compliance with the new requirements.
This task group also developed a guideline for installation and operation and maintenance services published as IEC TS 63049:2017. Another guideline for power equipment manufacturing, now at the final stage of the IEC standardization process, will be published as IEC TS 63157 ED1.
IEC TS 62941:2016 , "Guideline for Increased Confidence in PV Module Design Qualification and Type Approval,” was published in January 2016. For a summary of the motivation and alignment of the draft with ISO 9001, read Updated Proposal for a Guide for Quality Management Systems for PV Manufacturing.
The revised guideline, IEC 62941 “Quality System for PV Module Manufacturing,” will be published in mid-2019. It will be translated into Chinese in preparation for China adopting it as a national standard. Training materials to increase consistency of implementation of IEC 62941 are also being developed.
IEC TS 63157 ED1 “Guidelines for Effective Quality Assurance of Power Conversion Equipment for Photovoltaic Systems” was drafted in late 2018. It is now being reviewed by IEC TC82 WG6 experts for their approval.
The IEC formed IEC-Renewable Energy (IECRE) to issue certificates for ensuring more confidence in the bankability of PV projects and plants. Its certificates cover component quality and appropriate system design, installation, and operation of PV plants. IECRE has completed much of what will be needed. It is also energetically promoting its certification services to the various stakeholders, including investors and financial organizations. Additionally, the certification process has been described in a series of PV-OMC Operation Documents 405 and 410.
Updated Proposal for a Guide for Quality Management Systems for PV Manufacturing: Supplemental Requirements to ISO 9001-2008—This technical report provides a guideline for PV module manufacturers to produce modules that, once the design has proven to meet the quality and reliability requirements, replicate such design at an industrial scale without compromising its consistency with the requirements.
Requirements for Quality Management System for PV Module Manufacturing - This IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference paper describes Task Group 1’s work.
Masaaki Yamamichi— RTS Corporation, representing Japan and leading the IEC work
Sumanth Lokanath — First Solar, representing the Americas and leading regular teleconference
Zhou Wei — Trina Solar, representing China