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Solar PV testing scheme to help buyers

TÜV Rheinland and Solarpraxis have set up a test to compare the quality of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules.

By Isabella Kaminski

The PV+ Test will determine which solar PV modules will continue to perform in 20 years time and will return the power estimated in their original yield forecasts.

TÜV Rheinland and Solarpraxis have already begun trials of the PV+ Test with 8 solar PV module types. The modules are purchased anonymously and then subjected to several months of testing in TÜV Rheinland’s laboratories in Cologne, Germany.

Wilhelm Vaaßen, Head of Business for Renewable Energy and Solar Expertise at TÜV Rheinland says: "Our goal is to create a broadly based new programme in the market that rewards the good types of modules and provides accurate descriptions. The key elements of the test are the output performance, resistance to ageing, electrical safety, workmanship, documentation and installation instructions, together with ease of installation and warranty."

The test, which is open to all manufacturers, will expire after 18 months, when solar modules will have to be retested. The results will be published regularly in German trade magazine Photovoltaik and international publication PV Magazine.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity