Module Test: Four solar modules have taken part in the PV+Test from TÜV Rheinland and Solarpraxis AG.
This January 2014 the polykristalline module HSL60P6-PB-1-245 (HSL 60 Poly)from Hanwha SolarOne passed the test with good in the first cycle.
The Solarworld module "Sunmodule Plus SW 245 Poly" cuts in at the top with very good scores, while the other modules performed satisfactory and poor. The four modules were the first to be tested under the new PV+Test procedures. The new PV+Test procedure include a strict aging examination, a test for Potential Induced Degradation (PID) and a more accurate determination of low-light and temperature behaviors in comparison to the previously valid test conditions from February 2011. As the test is a "best of" list, the manufacturer may decide against publishing the results in case of poor scores. The manufacturer of the second module, with satisfactory and the manufacturer with poor results have chosen this option. Read more on pv-magazine.com
The 6th Industrial Council Meeting held in April 2012, concluded with the PV+Test conditions being extended and updated. Amongst them are the extension of damp heat test up to 2 x 1.000 hours and in future the modules will be tested for Potential Induced Degradation (PID).
Modules which do not survive their guaranteed 20-year lifetime are a nightmare for customers and installers alike. However, PV+Test has been designed to help you choose your modules. The independent test not only assesses products based on performance criteria, but also in terms of durability, electrical safety, workmanship, the quality of documentation provided, warranty terms and ease of installation.
An industry council, put together by the engineering division at Solarpraxis AG, publisher of pv magazine, created the criteria for this comprehensive assessment. The meetings were open to all manufacturers, test labs and other interested solar experts.
Panel manufacturers paid for these comprehensive, and hence expensive, tests. Nonetheless, they remain independent. The accredited TÜV Rheinland test lab performed the measurements without any input from the manufacturers, who were only allowed to decide whether their name would be published alongside their scores. If not, their scores were nonetheless included, anonymously, in the results. Understandably, manufacturers whose modules did not perform particularly well did not want to reveal their identity. Therefore, PV+Test is a "best of" list.
Customers can use the scoring system to see how the published results compare to the overall scores. TÜV Rheinland and Solarpraxis will continue to run the tests, and PV+Test will to continue to grow. As soon as a new panel passes the test, pv magazine will publish the scores.
More detailed test results are published in pv magazine.
The Photovoltaics market has broadened - and is still developing rapidly. For that reason, craftspeople, planners and consumers need clear orientation because the diversity has become nearly impenetrable. More than 500 module manufacturers are active in the market today, and the customer can not rely on international IEC standards alone. Neutral tests like those of the German Stiftung Warentest were conducted only every other few years. For these reasons, Solarpraxis AG and its partners have developed an independent test seal, that meets the highest standards.
Neutral product tests can only be conducted on the basis of an open discussion and definition of meaningful criteria, involving the manufacturers. Financing of the tests is secured by the manufacturers themselves, having an interest in transparency and willing to pay for this potential promotional tool. The tests are conducted by well-renowned TÜV Rheinland, fairness and neutrality are guaranteed by an independent supervisory board that is open to members of all manufacturers and testing institutions. The purchase of the modules to be tested are done anonymously or randomly picked by a TÜV employer from a warehouse or a container with large batch of samples (>300 modules).
By means of thorough planning and rigorous operation, the test results will eventually help all market participants in their orientation. Specific benefits of certain products can be highlighted, and manufacturers will equally get the opportunity to improve their products where necessary. The results of the series of tests are available from February 2011 and also in the industry publications of Solarpraxis AG, photovoltaik (until March 2013), pv-magazine.de and pv magazine.com.